Google says it hasn’t changed anything when it comes to jamming sensitive sites in Russia, despite Ukraine’s armed forces alleging the company “opened up access” to military facilities in Moscow.
On Monday morning, the Armed Forces of Ukraine tweeted high-quality photos of Russian command posts, while announcing an end to alleged Google censorship of bases in Moscow. Shortly after, Google denied censoring the photos to begin with.
The images show planes, ships and apparently active military bases.
“Google Maps has opened access to Russian military and strategic facilities,” the Ukrainian military tweeted. “Now everyone can see a variety of Russian launchers, intercontinental ballistic missile mines, command posts and secret dumps with a resolution of about 0.5 meters per pixel.”
In response, Google said it made no blur changes, suggesting the photos were still available.
“We made no blurry edits to our satellite images in Russia,” a Google spokesperson said. Newsweek.
Contrary to Google’s statement, Russian media say the company made the photos “newly accessible”, according to Moscow time.
The Russian publication alleges the newly available footage includes “the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, a nuclear weapons store near Murmansk, submarines in the far eastern peninsula of Kamchatka and a military air base in the western city of Kursk”.
The temperature says Google’s decision to decensor Russian military bases comes amid “strained relations” between the country and the US tech giant.
Last month, a YouTube spokesperson said Newsweek“We recently suspended all Google and YouTube ads in Russia. Following this, we are now extending this suspension to all of our monetization features, including YouTube Premium, Channel Subscriptions, Super Chat and Merchandise, for Viewers of Russia.”
Google also stopped advertising content produced by Russian state media, saying it didn’t want people to profit from the war for financial gain.
Although Google denies censored images of Russian military bases, the conglomerate detects US bases.
In 2008, the US Department of Defense banned Google from capturing images of military bases, citing security risks. The ban came after detailed images of Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas appeared on Google Maps, according to the Naval Postgraduate School.
“It is against Google policy for a driver to seek access to a military base. Our policy is to stay on public roads, but a driver violated this policy,” Google spokesperson Larry Yu said. at the time.
A Google spokesperson declined to comment on whether photo blurring of military bases is only used for US bases.
Newsweek contacted the Russian Embassy for comments.