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Threat from Google Earth reviewed

New Delhi, June 6
A high-level meeting was on Wednesday held in Union Home Ministry to frame a concrete strategy to tackle the possible threat posed by Google Earth, which provides easy access to satellite imagery of vital installations across the country.

The meeting was chaired by Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta and attended by senior officials of the Ministry, Intelligence Bureau and Research and Analysis Wing.

During the meeting, issues pertaining to the security of the country were discussed in light of the sophisticated satellite images of key facilities like nuclear plants available on various websites including Google, official sources said.

Though the meeting was scheduled earlier, it was held at a time when security authorities in the US have claimed to have cracked a conspiracy to bomb the JFK International Airport by terrorists who allegedly used images available on Google Earth to hatch their conspiracy.

The Centre decided last year to frame a policy on this issue and Wednesday’s meeting was the first move in this connection.

Google last year assured New Delhi that it would remove high-resolution images of vital installations across India but security agencies still fear that militant groups could use this facility to create terror.

More meetings in this connection, including some for which officials from the Army and Science and Technology Ministry would be roped in, would be held soon, the sources said. — PTI

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