Taiwan’s secret military sites exposed by Google Maps

Secret Taiwanese military sites were accidentally exposed online for the public to view following an update to Google Maps, according to a South China Morning Post report.

The military locations were revealed after Google released a new function which included 3D renditions of Taipei, New Taipei, Taoyuan, and Taichung.

Taiwan’s military sites

Detailed satellite images on Google’s new 3D maps are so clear that US-made Patriot missiles can be now be seen, and no blurring has been added to prevent the public from viewing the sites, according to the report.

It is possible to view the exact location, building structures, military base layout, and the locations of missile launchers in detail.

The Post also said that Taiwan’s National Security Bureau and the Military Intelligence Bureau has also become visible on the maps as well.

Taiwan’s defence minister, Yen-Te-Fa, has said a taskforce had been formed with Google to seek appropriate adjustments to safeguard the country’s national security.

“Actually, the site of defence infrastructure at times of peace will not be the same as those at times of war,” he told the news outlet.

Blurring out locations

In addition to blurring out the locations of its sites, a defence official also told the Morning Post that the military will work on the ground to add additional camouflage to its structures and facilities.

“Actually, the confidential parts are all inside the structures which would be highly difficult to expose through the 3D maps,” he said.

This is not the first time Taiwan has asked Google to make changes to their maps. In 2016, it asked the company to blur out part of Taiping Island, or Itu Aba in the South China Sea that showed images of new military structures on the island.

In 2012, Taiwan also asked Apple to blur images of a secret military base after it was revealed in full definition on its new Maps app.

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