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 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.


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