Google gets blurred in Germany

There are fears, oft-discounted but still harbored by at least one Israeli intelligence official, that terrorists might use Google Street View to plan terrorist attacks. If so, Google’s offices in Munich are safer today, because they are blurred in Google Street View, according to CNET’s  Technically Incorrect.

Apparently a neighbor of Google’s office in the German city took advantage of the company’s willingness to blur the images of people who want privacy.

Google viewing service, rolled out in 20 German cities this week, has drawn more than 244,00 blur requests and considerable opposition, according to Spiegel Online. Fifty percent of Germans polled say they oppose Street View.

Germans are sensitive about privacy, perhaps because of the unhappy national experience with messianic techno-chauvinism. The Googlers live in the muliti-national technocracy which often regards such feelings as irrational or out-of-date.

But such sensitivities are real, and if the Googlers are smart (not a given), they will pay attention.

Published by Jefferson Morley

Jefferson Morley is a Washington journalist who writes about intelligence, international media, and American History. A former editor at the, the Washington Post, the New Republic, and the Nation, he now blogs at He is the author of Our Man in Mexico: WInston Scott and the Hidden History of the CIA (University Press of Kansas, 2008). His FOIA lawsuit against the CIA for JFK assassination records is now in its 7th year.

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