Last Updated
Thursday 18 December 2014, 14:58 pm.
National security not compromised by Google street view

In the interest of clarity, Government wishes to reassure the public that, contrary to what was reported in this week's edition of The Monitor (3/12/12) newspaper, the national security of the country has not been compromised by the recent launch of Google Street View.
By Staff Writer Sun 21 Dec 2014, 17:07 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: National security not compromised by Google street view








Further to the above we wish to remind the public that, as was communicated to all media and other stakeholders earlier this year, in March 2011 a representative task team of Government Stakeholders was established to vet Google's request to expand its Streetview service to Botswana. From the beginning these consultations, we were well aware of both the potential advantages and risks of the project.

In the above context in August 2011 conditional consent for the initiative was granted. This consent was subject to various enforceable assurances including security concerns as part of an overall implementation plan, which included the undertaking that there would be no filming of restricted areas, which were to be determined by responsible authorities.

To ensure the above the Google film team's progress was appropriately monitored.Contrary to what was reported in The Monitor, we have found no serious breach of the protocols that were adopted during filming. In this respect, contrary to what was reported in The Monitor, restricted imagery at the government enclave and elsewhere is blocked.

We have, moreover, reserved the right to remove any images that may be deemed, either now or in the future, to be in anyway compromising to the national interest.Further to the above it may be noted that Street View imagery is no different from what any person can readily capture or see traveling down a public road.

Also contrary to what was alleged in The Monitor, no undertaking was given that Google Streetview would be barred from filming on public roads in residential areas. The Monitor's claim in this respect is, at best, a misunderstanding.

It may, however, be further noted that Google Street View incorporates easily accessible tools for flagging inappropriate or sensitive imagery for their review and removal. Anyone who thus wishes to remove an image of their property or submit a request for additional blurring can report the image via the online tool as follows

* Locate the image
* Click "Report a concern" in the bottom-left of the image window
* Complete the form, and click "Submit"

Finally, members of the public should understand that while Street view is an application linked to Google Earth, neither this or any other government has content control over Google Earth, which consists of satellite imagery already in the public domain.

In this respect Google Earth has since 2005 incorporated detailed zoom in aerial satellite imagery of the entire global landmass, including potentially sensitive areas, of all nations.

Jeff Ramsay
Government Spokesperson



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