Posted March 7, 2008 9:43 am by with 17 comments

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OK, not literally, but Google’s Street View mapping crew could face the might of the U.S. military–should they ever try to take photos of its bases again.

According to the LA Times, Google’s vehicles were allowed on to Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, provided they didn’t take any video or photographs.

A person familiar with the matter at Fort Sam Houston said a base official twice granted Google access, but only after he was assured that Google would not videotape or photograph the historic base, which serves as a medical-training and support post. The official had believed an online map would be useful to guide visitors.

“Unfortunately, Google didn’t follow the rules,” said the person, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the situation.

Google’s working with Defense officials to remove the images and ensure it never happens again.

Now here’s a question that might not help you sleep well at night:

How did a car, with a monstrosity of a device on its roof, get to drive around a military base? Luckily for us, it was just photos being shot!

  • Wow, that’s pretty ridiculous. That’s a serious rule to break and Google should have known better. Surprising that there wasn’t a bigger punishment for them after vowing not to do it. And yes, that monstrocity on that vehicle is quite questionable!

  • A bit naive from the military, isn’t it? A Google vehicle with a massive recording device stuck to the roof and with the intention of mapping where ever they drive asks for permission to drive around and you expect them to do so without taping anything just because you said so?

    It’s like telling a kid not to take anything out of the cookie jar while you are away, but leaving the cookie jar in plain site and within reach.

    They should’t have let them on to begin with. If they weren’t allowed to tape anything, what was the point for them to still drive around?

  • I noticed this street view (linked below) of a border crossing in Detroit a while back – pretty sure Customs & Border Protection would be unhappy about that!

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  • Eduardo

    I don’t think it was a huge deal because the base is of little need for top secrecy. While it is still breaking the rules its not like our nations secrets were revealed by shows some pictures of a base that freely lets civilians in on a regular basis.

    Hardly a black ops or nuclear missile base.

  • I talk about in present post about google maps (boats crash)

  • Honestly – who cares? So Google took pictures of a not-so-secret military base. Big deal.

  • Man, I had a feeling Street View was going to come under scrutiny. Did anyone happen to see Googlers taking pictures of their houses? My buddy from work mentioned that he’s in the photo of his house!

  • @Bob – that’s not the point, I failed to make. 🙂

    That device on the top of the Google car could have had anthrax or rockets in it. And clearly no one at the base called Google to check credentials, otherwise Google HQ would have said the car is not supposed to be at a military base.

    A complete lack of security all around.

  • Anyone have any full pictures of a google car? I’d love to see the mess of cameras attached from a side-view. I was thinking about getting one blown up and framed for my den next to my McLaren F1 photo.

  • he he he sneaky Google vans! Why would the grant Google access in the first place?

  • The military liason in charge should be punished for being so stupid.

  • That is a big no no, Google should know better.

  • PS3

    It’s the military that should know better. Can’t really blame Google for taking an opportunity that presented itself.

  • Google took pictures of a not-so-secret military base.

  • google are using all this human contribution through google algorithms

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