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Maps as State Secrets


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There have been a few items in the news lately of countries complaining about Google Earth’s satellite imagery being a secuirty threat. This is not so unusual in that maps were often considered state secrets - and still are. Forbes.com has a story about a U. K. oil company running afoul of Roussian authorities for having 1:25,000 maps. Apparently the problem is “that foreigners were not permitted to see large-scale maps of the country. The government is said to be sensitive to foreign firms having access to exact data on Russia's oil reserves. ” The Moscow Times has a slightly more detailed story.


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