Monday, August 08, 2005

Google urged to drop nuclear site images

THE head of Australia's nuclear energy agency has called on the owners of an internet satellite program to censor images of the country's only nuclear reactor.

Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation executive director Ian Smith said he would ask internet search engine Google to remove the Lucas Heights reactor from its Google Earth program. The online program combines satellite images with aerial photographs and maps to let users zoom in on almost any building in the world.

I have a few issues with this article.

  • ANSTO wants Google to remove Lucas Heights from Google Maps, yet by their own admission it isn't well concealed anyway.
    Dr Smith said the Lucas Heights facility was clearly visible from the road, or from commercial aircraft flying overhead and noted Google's image was about two years out of date.

  • Oh, we all know terrorists are from somewhere else...
    "The question comes down to, if you put it on the internet, does it go to Pakistan or Afghanistan and make it easy for them?"

    In all of the major terrorist attacks in the last few years (NY, Bali and London), the attackers have lived in the country of the attack for at least a few years.

  • Why are they so worried about Google showing the reactor site?
    Despite the construction of a new reactor and a five-year, $36million security upgrade announced in last year's federal budget, Dr Smith admitted that trespassers could enter the site "if they really want to".

    "There's a small area near the middle of the site which is quite secure, but the bulk of our site isn't all that secure," he said.

    "We don't have the guarding or the hardware to stop someone from getting in to the site if they really wanted to."

    So let me get this straight... Because ANSTO haven't put a decent amount of security in place they want to make everyone else cover the installation up from the 'terrorists'.

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