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Swedish military worried about Google

Published tisdag 12 oktober 2010 kl 10.43
Satellite pictures provided via Google Earth could reveal secret information about the Swedish military.

Internet search engine Google could be a threat to military units in Blekinge, southern Sweden, according to the military intelligence agency.

Secret military facilities and weapons could be photographed and put online when Google and other similar sites go around in cars to gather material for their street view applications. But its not just photographs from the ground that pose a threat to the military, Swedish Radio news reports, military secrets could also show up on satellite images provided through Google Earth for example.

Mats P Åkesson, communications director at a naval base in the area says that he is familiar with the problem.

“If you go online you can, if you are curious, find pictures of the base,” he said.

The naval base is protected in Swedish law as a classified area and according to the law a person that takes pictures of the base risks jail for up to three years.

Many military bases which have the same protection have signs posted informing people that it is illegal to take pictures but according to Mattias Hansson, at the Armed Forces department for security, the signs are not sufficient.

“Before it was enough with a fence but not we have to have think about if we have something secret behind the fence.”

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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