Just last week on a call with my extended team I was reviewing the new Google Street View capability, and explaining the reaction many had had to it from a privacy perspective.
During my conversation with the team, I had mentioned that it would likely only be a matter of time before concerns were raised around the use of such information by terrorists for the planning of their heinous crimes.
Then lo and behold, this tidbit falls over the transom from the CNET "News Blog" stating that the JFK terror plotters used Google Earth to obtain detailed aerial photographs of JFK airport.
According to a court document, the blog reports, one of the four defendants indicated that one of their surveillance videos was not sufficiently detailed for operational purposes, which is when they allegedly resorted to Google Earth instead.
While a Google statement from earlier today highlighted the attention that its Google Earth team has paid to security risks posed by its satellite imaging tool, and that they're not the only player in this market, CNET's Caroline McCarthy also points out that such tools "certainly do make it easier for a would-be terrorist to obtain such maps anonymously."
I would expect this turn of events to lead to at some further public debate and deliberation (perhaps in the U.S. Congress?) about the implications of anonymous access to such valuable satellite imagery online.
Our collective safety and security might well depend on it.