According to local media reports, an update on Google Maps showed detailed images of Taiwan’s sensitive military facilities, including the National Security Bureau, the Military Intelligence Bureau, and a launch site for their US-made Patriot missiles. You can even build missiles from maps. In those days, being a spy was a very difficult task. It has an unforgettable nerve, a briefcase full of deadly contractions and manageable problems. Now, all you need is a Smartphone.
The structures were released after Google released an extension of its main satellite mapping of four Taiwanese cities – Taipei, New Taipei, Taiwan, and Taichung – allowing users to zoom into urban environments and view 3D representations of buildings.
The United States is a close ally of Taiwan and regularly supplies arms to the island, some of which are visible in the picture. Taiwan is currently in long-running geopolitical tensions with China over Taiwan’s political position. On the simplest terms, China believes that Taiwan is part of their country, but many Taiwanese people want independence.
Speaking to The South China Morning Post, another defense official confirmed this, saying, “The confidential parts are inside all the structures that would be extremely difficult to reveal through 3D maps.” Taiwan’s Defense Minister Yen The-fa said the news is not too much about national security risks as there is currently no national war, but they will work closely with the older boys in Silicon Valley to make some appropriate adjustments.
According to Reuters, in 2016 Taiwan asked Google to obscure their controversial images that show a suspected military installation on Itu Ababa, a small island in the disputed South China Sea, Nevertheless, this is not the first time that Google Maps has raised eyebrows over national security in Taiwan.
In a fine vein, GPS data from a jogging application was used to highlight the location of military facilities, including the NSA and Region 51. The rehearsal application Strava has published “heat maps” showing the way their users move around the world. Unfortunately, many members of the military personnel forgot to stop sharing their data and their paths outlined military outposts. Doh!