China: Be aware! Google Earth leaks national secret

On May 6, famous blogger, William Long, was summoned by the Shenzhen Urban Planning and Land Supervision Division that a Google Earth picture indicating military facilities at www.moon-bbs.com is in suspect of leaking national secret. During the conversation, someone recorded the whole process with video. After the meeting, the blogger deleted the article and turned the website off-line.

However, on 17 of May, CCTV's program “Topics in Focus” put the case under national spotlight. Netizens speculated that the government is about to introduce a set of policy for restricting the use of “Google Earth”. Jason Ng from Kenengba estimated from past experience that within 10 days, the policy will be introduced.

In the CCTV program, apart from military facilities, electricity plants, water conservancy and electric power facilities, communication facilities and other facilities related with national economic and social interest are considered as national secret and should not be indicated in the online satellite map.

According to the existing law, the leaking of national secret, with or without intension, will be subjected to 3-7 year imprisonment. For serious case, the penalty would be up to 5-10 year imprisonment.

7 comments

  • […]   GlobalVoices: China: Be aware! Google Earth leaks national secret […]

  • […] GlobalVoices:China: Be aware! Google Earth leaks national secret http://advocacy.globalvoicesonline.org/2010/05/19/china-be-aware-google-earth-leaks-national-secret/ […]

  • […]   GlobalVoices: China: Be aware! Google Earth leaks national secret […]

  • […] tech blogger William Long, who writes on everything from circumvention tools to where military secrecy in China meets Google Earth. Over the weekend while away from the computer, Long's QQ account was compromised and used to […]

  • […] tech blogger William Long, who writes on everything from circumvention tools to where military secrecy in China meets Google Earth. Over the weekend while away from the computer, Long's QQ account was compromised and used to […]

  • […]   GlobalVoices:China: Be aware! Google Earth leaks national secret […]

  • […] GlobalVoices: China: Be aware! Google Earth leaks national secret  On May 6, famous blogger, William Long, was summoned by the Shenzhen Urban Planning and Land Supervision Division that a Google Earth picture indicating military facilities at http://www.moon-bbs.com is in suspect of leaking national secret. During the conversation, someone recorded the whole process with video.  Ogle Earth: China cracks down on user-generated maps  Having lived in China for just over a year, I’ve seen the progressive blocking of Facebook, Twitter, Blogspot, YouTube and now most recently DropBox, so today should not have come as a surprise: User-generated maps and annotations are up next.  danwei: Dodgy CCTV journalism and map clampdown  The CCTV program ‘Topics in Focus’, ever happy to attack Internet companies, especially Google, participated in the purge by airing a program last night showing how a Chinese blogger was “revealing state secrets” by writing annotations on Google Earth.  South China Morning Post: Censored: the map website accused of leaking site of PLA HK barracks  ”Everyone can freely mark information about buildings, even the houses of some top leaders and other so-called secrets, and share them at Google Earth; that’s why they want to control such behaviour,” he said. […]

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