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Google Earth inadvertently leaks Taiwan’s sensitive military sites

Google Earth inadvertently leaks Taiwan’s sensitive military sites
  • Google Earth accidentally leaked Taiwan’s sensitive military locations due to an update in Google’s new 3D maps which included new three-dimensional terrain for four cities in Taiwan.
  • The latest 3D maps exposed secret Patriot missile base in Ankeng, Taipei, as well as defense infrastructure at the National Security Bureau and the Military Intelligence Bureau.

An update to Google Earth has led to the exposure of Taiwan’s most sensitive military locations to the public. The update is Google’s latest 3D maps which includes feature better imagery and three-dimensional terrain for four major cities in Taiwan: Taipei, New Taipei, Taoyuan, and Taichung.

What was exposed?

  • The latest 3D maps exposed secret Patriot missile base in Ankeng, Taipei.
  • It exposed defense infrastructure at the National Security Bureau and the Military Intelligence Bureau.
  • The exposed military sites included the exact location, military base layout, building structures, and the locations of missile launchers.

What are the preventive measures taken?

  • Taiwan’s Defense Minister Yen Te-fa said that a special task force had been formed to work with Google in order to make appropriate adjustments to ensure national security is protected.
  • He stated that they will further review the law and will carry out some investigations and examinations to deal with the problem without affecting the regular military operations.

“Actually, the site of defense infrastructure at times of peace will not be the same as those at times of war,” Yen Te-fa said.

“In addition to asking Google to blur the locations, the military would be working to strengthen the camouflaging of structures and facilities,” a defense official told the South China Morning Post.

“Actually, the confidential parts are all inside the structures which would be highly difficult to expose through the 3D maps,” he added.

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