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Israel opens up to Google Street View

Google Street View is coming to Israel, with a few security-minded adjustments designed to combat terrorism.
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Written by Matt Weinberger on

After six months of deliberation, Israel and Google have struck a deal to let the search giant's Street View car fleet capture detailed imagery from its streets - while also taking measures to ensure that terrorists don't use the service to plot attacks on important sites.

The word comes courtesy of an Associated Press report, which indicates that the final agreement was approved last night after all of the Israeli governments concerns were addressed and withdrawn.

Apparently, Google complied with all of Israel's requests around security, but the specifics have not been divulged.

In fact, according to the AP, we don't know much at all:

A spokesman for Google Israel declined to comment on details of the project other than to say the company was pleased Israel had approved it. He said Google hoped to provide updates soon about the project's launching. He wouldn't say when Google would begin the service in Israel.

Imagery from Israeli streets has been available through Google Earth for some time now, so the addition of Google Street View photos to Google Maps wouldn't actually increase the amount of information available online in any meaningful way.

With this agreement, Israel becomes the first Middle Eastern country to get Google Street View. And while complying with Israel's counterterrorism-minded security requests is obviously priority number one, Google Israel is probably hoping to avoid the privacy complaints that have characterized Google Street View's experiences in the EU.

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