Google is getting sued for failing to blur military sites

Google is clashing with Belgium’s defense ministry.


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The Belgian defense ministry plans to sue Google over its failure to blur satellite images that reveal military sites.

The ministry said it requested that sites like air bases and nuclear power stations be obscured on the search giant’s satellite mapping services, citing national security, according to Reuters. It plans to sue Google for not complying with the requests, said a ministry spokeswoman on Friday, according to Reuters.

Google — which turned 20 this week — has complied with similar requests from other governments, according to Reuters.

“It’s a shame the Belgium Department of Defense have decided to take this decision,” said Michiel Sallaets, spokesperson for Google in Belgium, in an emailed statement. “We have been working closely with them for more than two years, making changes to our maps where asked and legal under Belgian law.”

The company noted that Google Earth consists of third party imagery in Belgium and it gave the ministry the contact details of the images’ owners when it got the request. For Street View images, it’s taken action any time the ministry flagged addresses of military sites.

The Belgian defense ministry didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.


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