Taiwan wants Apple to blur sensitive military images

Taiwanese government says it will ask the Cupertino-based company to blur satellite images of sensitive military installations after images of its secretive long-range radar in Hsinchu--downloaded via iPhone 5--surfaced.
Written by Ellyne Phneah, Contributor

The Taiwan government says it will ask Apple to blur satellite images of sensitive military installations which are freely available to iPhone 5 users on Apple Maps.

According to a AFP report Tuesday, the request comes after the Libery Times newspaper printed a satellite image, downloaded via an iPhone 5, showing a top-secret long-range radar base in the northern county of Hsinchu.

Legally, though, nothing can be done about the images taken by commercial satellites, David Lo, the ministry's spokesperson told reporters. "But we'll ask Apple to lower the resolution of satellite images of some confidential military establishments the way we've asked Google in the past," he said.

Lo was referring to the Taiwanese government's request in 2005 to make corrections after the search giant called Taiwan a "province of China". Taiwan does not consider itself part of China, according to a separate article on The Register news site.

Apple, however, has yet to receive a formal request from the government, a spokesperson from Bravo, a Taiwanese PR agency handling its media relations, told the newswire. The company declined to comment on how it would respond to such requests.

The long-range radar at the Hsinchu base had been procured from the U.S. in 2003, and its construction is expected to be completed by the end of the year. It is able to detect missiles launched as far away as Xinjiang province in the China's northwest, and costs TW$36 billion (US$1.23 billion).

Apple Maps have also come under fire since its launch, with complaints from consumers on its inaccurate indication of places. The company's CEO Tim Cook apologized and recommended other services such as Bing, MapQuest, Waze and Google Maps.


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