Google Street View halted in India

Police in southern Indian city of Bangalore have stopped Google from taking pictures of streets for its popular Street View services. Google is barred until it gets approval from the federal government at Delhi.

According to a senior police official in India’s IT hub Bangalore (much famous in the Europe and US as a verb, ‘Bangalored’) the search giant would be allowed to resume filming, once it produces the security clearances from the Home Ministry and Ministry of Defense of the country.

For those who are not aware of Google’s Street View project, here is a quick info: Google Street view is a project of Google, under which Google’s cars, equipped with satellite navigation devices, audio and video storing hubs and mounted with 360 degree cameras, drive through the streets of a city recording every shop, building, signboard, one either side of the road. The idea behind the project is to give a web user an opportunity to see a city, as if he/she is visiting the city in real, and seeing the city from a cab/taxi window. Google Street View is a technology featured in Google Maps and Google Earth that provides panoramic views from various positions along many streets in the world. It was launched on May 25, 2007, originally only in several cities in the United States, and has since gradually expanded to include more cities and rural areas worldwide.

Now, many publications, are reporting this news, as a pointer to India being especially sensitive to detailed photographs and locations of key buildings being made public since the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

But rather than portraying the news in a negative connotation, one should understand that India has way too much population; monitoring which for preventing terrorist incidents is a big problem; for very ill equipped and inadequate police force. Hence county tries to take measures, which appear ultra cautious to many outside the country.

BTW, India is not alone who has raised objections to Street View on privacy and security concerns. Germany and other countries have raised objections to Google’s project. --------

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