Why Google blurs surface images of Israel, and why that blurring could end


Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right or below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.

Link here. A 1997 U.S. law requires that all satellite imagery of Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank be blurred. The law also sets the resolution standard based on the best images produced by other commercial companies outside the U.S.

NOAA is now reviewing the law, since high resolution European commercial images have been available since 2012. If it decides this is the new standard, high resolution views of this very politically hot region could become publicly available for free.

The article focuses on the wonderfully good things in science and research this change would bring. It completely ignores the use that terrorist organizations, set on killing as many Israelis as possible, could put to such images.

In general, I prefer freedom and the wide distribution of information. In this case I am torn.

Share

3 comments

  • Noah Peal

    Israel is in a war zone. Nothing wrong with covering one’s windows when at war.

  • Max

    Speaking of covering windows, the OPCW’s Report was just published on the gas attack in Syria. I’ll results and interviews have come back negative.

    https://www.opcw.org/news/article/opcw-issues-fact-finding-mission-reports-on-chemical-weapons-use-allegations-in-douma-syria-in-2018-and-in-al-hamadaniya-and-karm-al-tarrab-in-2016/

    I suppose this vindicates Russia. Another deep dark state fake news operation.
    Israel is still preparing for what’s going on across the border in Syria.

  • pzatchok

    Actually the OPCw report does not vindicate anyone.
    read the whole article. they even state themselves that their job and objective was to not find the offenders but to ONLY find evidence of chemical weapon use in the area.
    they admit to finding traces of Sarin gas, mustard gas and chlorine.
    They also found traces of explosives. Imagine that, explosives in a war zone.
    No data on when those chemicals were used.

    No real facts other than that.

    Here is a fact. They are still finding traces of Mustard gas in France from WWI.
    The chlorine could have come from a truckload of pure chlorine intended for water treatment use. Accidentally blow up the truck in a populated area and guess what you get? People dying from Chlorine poisoning.
    Unless someone intended to blow it up and then blame the other side. An act of a terrorist.

    A simple fact is, a single small chemical weapon attack on civilians is a terrorist act. For it to actually do anything other than scare people they would have to make more attacks and use it to drive people out of an area.
    A single attack is the act of a terrorist. Multiple attacks is a tactical attack.

    A terrorist attack has political ends, a tactical attack has a military end.

    What was gained from this attack? And who gained the most?

    Right after it happened what was called for in the news?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *