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`Threat' from use of Google Earth maps reviewed

NEW DELHI: T he Union Home Ministry held a high-level meeting on Wednesday to frame a strategy to tackle the possible threat posed by access to satellite imagery of vital installations provided by Google Earth.

The meeting was chaired by Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta and attended by senior officials of the Ministry, the Intelligence Bureau and the Research and Analysis Wing.

Issues pertaining to security were discussed in the light of the sophisticated satellite images of key facilities such as nuclear plants available on various websites, including Google, official sources said.

Though the meeting was scheduled earlier, it was held at a time when U.S. security authorities claimed to have cracked a conspiracy by terrorists to bomb the JFK international airport. They allegedly used images available on Google Earth to hatch the conspiracy.

The sources said the Centre decided last year to frame a policy on the issue and Wednesday's meeting was the first move in this connection.

Last year, Google assured New Delhi that it would remove high-resolution images of vital installations across India but security agencies still fear that militant groups could use the facility to create terror. More meetings in this connectionare to be held soon. — PTI

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