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Researcher uses Google Earth to track India's nuclear program

John Ribeiro | Oct. 17, 2011
The Institute for Science and International Security in Washington has used imagery from Google Earth to arrive at the conclusion that India may be constructing a gas centrifuge plant for uranium enrichment for military purposes, reinforcing Indian fears that Google Earth can be misused to compromise national security.

India's argument that public imagery of its nuclear sites should be unavailable to the public or blurred because terrorists could use the information is a red herring, according to Brannan. The imagery is publicly available through commercial satellite imaging companies anyway, and Google Earth is merely one avenue of presenting the images, he said.

"And where would one draw the line on censorship ?" he asked. "The public's right to know about nuclear proliferation greatly outweighs these arguments."

India and arch-enemy Pakistan are not signatories of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and both are known to have nuclear weapons. Agreements in 2008 between India and the U.S. and some other countries allowed them to cooperate and do commerce in civil nuclear areas, while allowing India to keep its military nuclear facilities separate.


 

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