US lawmaker wants online maps to blur hospitals and schools

A US lawmaker has proposed legislation that would force Google Maps and Google Earth and other online mapping services to blur all hospitals

A US lawmaker has proposed legislation that would force Google Maps and Google Earth and other online mapping services to blur all hospitals, schools, churches and government buildings.

Republican California assemblyman Joel Anderson's proposed measure also specifies that a violation would be a criminal offence punishable with fines up to $250,000 a day.

Anderson claims the proposed censorship is justified because of evidence that terrorists have used Google Maps to select and research targets.

Military experts have warned that being able to identify where these bases are would make it easy for terrorists to launch accurate mortar or rocket attacks.

Anderson said the proposed measure is aimed at limiting the level of detail, but does not stop people from getting directions to where they want to go.

Google plans to hold talks with Anderson to discuss the proposed legislation, which would create a great deal of extra work for the company.

Until now, Google has responded to individual requests from the US military and India to blur certain building and from privacy groups to blur faces in the street views used in Google Maps.

The UK government also demanded Google blot out British bases in Iraq after a terrorist held in Basra was found with a Google Earth map

Read more on IT legislation and regulation

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