The Indian government has rejected Google’s bid to bring its fleet of Street View vehicles into the country. The country’s Home Ministry said that giving Google the ability to record street-level imagery would be detrimental to national security, as the vehicles could potentially record sensitive government installations.
The search giant uses specialized vehicles with high-resolution cameras to map landmarks and iconic buildings, offering users the ability to view 360-degree imagery from the comfort of their homes. From the Press Trust of India:
Security establishment got wary of allowing such image-capturing given that planning for the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai is believed to have involved photographic reconnaissance of targets by Pakistani-American David Coleman Headley.
Official sources said the rejection came after a detailed analysis by security agencies and defence forces which feel that allowing Google to cover India would compromise country’s security interest.
The service offers imagery from select landmarks in India, including the Taj Mahal, Gateway of India, Red Fort, and more, but the search giant was planning to use its Street View vehicles to cover wide swathes of the country.
This isn’t the first time this year that the government has tried to curtail Google’s efforts. The government is set to come out with legislation that would limit the functionality of Google Maps and any other service that uses geospatial data.