The Government of India has decided to constitute an "expert group" to review applications like "Google Earth"...
The Government of India which is reportedly "concerned over satellite images of its strategic installations being made available in the public domain by internet search engine Google," has ultimately decided to take serious action and constitute an "expert group" to review applications like "Google Earth" and suggest ways to safeguard the country's interests.
A few months ago, President A P J Abdul Kalam had voiced serious concern over Google Earth's free-mapping program available on the Internet, which includes high resolution images of sensitive locations like the Army headquarters, Parliament House, Rashtrapati Bhavan and other defense establishments.
Echoing concerns expressed by other countries such as South Korea, Thailand and Netherlands, Kalam had asserted that terrorists and other subversive elements would use these images for their nefarious activities.
At the time Google had offered to hold talks with the Indian Government, saying that it takes governmental concerns about "Google Earth" and "Google Maps" very seriously, and welcomes dialogue with governments on the issue.
However the Ministry of Defense - the nodal agency co-ordinating the evaluation of Google Earth's satellite imagery with the Ministry of Science and Technology and security agencies, had post-poned the matter saying it would respond to Google's offer as and when it thought fit.
Official sources now reveal that the Government has decided to constitute an "expert group" to address these concerns.