Google aids thieves: Software used to pick targets

Aided by Google Maps, a man was recently caught burglarizing people’s homes once they’d left. With some simple research and available addresses on the internet, he was able to use the so-called helpful software in order to rob nine homes.

“He said he Googled ‘expensive homes along highways,’ and Indian Head Park and Burr Ridge came up … He used the satellite view on those homes where you can see 360 degrees,” Indian Head Park Police Sgt. Curt Novak said in the article “Man Used Google Maps To Find Homes To Burglarize” from the news site

Google should limit the content on Google Maps and Google Earth in order to ensure the safety of people and the nation. Sure, it is fun to look at your home through your computer screen, but then I wonder who else has been able to view the same image.

It is understandable to view Google Maps as entertainment or even as an educational tool, but it is not necessary when finding your way around town. Many people use their own personal global positioning systems or old-fashioned directions. It seems ridiculous that anyone has the ability to scope out almost any address that comes to their imagination. In fact, it seems to be more of a danger to our safety than anything else.

New technology has the ability to serve criminals who operate on a much grander scale than the petty burglar mentioned before. Man is inherently evil, so it is no wonder that criminals have used what is supposed to be useful technology for their illegal enjoyment.

Even more recently, the government uncovered plans to bomb several people and places in Washington, D.C. from a terrorist group based in Iran. The group planned to attack the Saudi Arabian and Israeli embassies, which are blurred but can be found on Google Earth.

Google Earth does entertain some aspects of limitation, whereas important places are blurred and some street views are unavailable. Although Washington, D.C. is blurred, you can still see it from a bird’s eye view. It does not take much imagination to figure that a viewer with ill-intentions could use that image to cause destruction if he or she chooses.

“Evidence introduced at a New York terror trial showed that the defendants referenced Google’s mapping software during a foiled 2007 plot to blow up jet fuel tanks at John F. Kennedy International Airport,” the Associated Press said in the article “Blurring Google, other online maps to prevent terrorism part of the new normal after 9/11” in the Florida Times-Union.

Even with the blurring that Google Maps has implemented since Sept. 11, 2001, it is imperative that Google takes further steps in order to keep people, on a personal and a national level, safe. America should continue to be a frontrunner in technology but that does not mean we should have to sacrifice our safety.

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