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Army taking steps to thwart Google threat: J.J. Singh
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 3
Chief of Army Staff Gen J.J. Singh said today that the Army was taking steps to counter the threat posed by the Google portal by putting out the layout of its strategic bases on its website.

“We concede that these satellite images do compromise our sensitive and strategic sites” and added that these satellite images definitely would give advantage to country’s adversaries.

“But we are not the only one affected. So a major universal effort has to be there to get this blocked,” he said on the sidelines of a defence seminar here.

He said the new Army doctrine had laid out a strategy to be applied in such cases of satellite monitoring.

On the other hand, search engine Google maintained that its satellite pictures of sensitive installations posed no threat to India and that it was in dialogue with the government to dispel security concerns.

Officials have in the recent past expressed concern over Google Earth’s display of pictures of key Indian installations, including military bases, offices of the Prime Minister and the President, as well as nuclear facilities.

Google Earth is built from information that is already available from a wide range of both commercial and public sources. As such, Google Earth presents no appreciable threat to security, given the wide commercial availability of high-resolution satellite and aerial imagery of every country in the world, an official of the search engine told a news agency here.

“Google has been talking and will continue to talk to the Indian Government about any security concerns it may have regarding Google Earth. We are pleased to have the dialogue, which has been substantive and constructive,” the official said.

Meanwhile, talking to mediapersons at the seminar, the Army chief said long-range missiles and artillery had thrown up new dimensions in future warfare.

He said the Army proposed to set up a new tactical battlefield communication system.

“We are in the process of finalising general staff requirements for a flexible, robust, reliable and secure infrastructure in the tactical battle area,” he said.

International tenders would be floated for seeking front line international collaboration for building up the system after the Army’s electronic warfare experts finalised the blueprint for the futuristic system, he said.

Army Signal Officer in Chief Lt-Gen Davinder Singh said emphasis was on for bringing in “beyond line of sight capability” by way of satcom, tropobase stations with phone patches and airborne unmanned relays and repeaters.

The Army chief said such a system would transform the Army into a network centric force.


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