September 28, 2018 / 9:33 AM / 21 days ago

Belgium to sue Google for not blurring images of defense sites

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The Belgian defense ministry will sue Google (GOOGL.O) for not complying with its requests to blur satellite images of sensitive military sites, a ministry spokeswoman said on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: A Google sign is seen during the WAIC (World Artificial Intelligence Conference) in Shanghai, China, September 17, 2018. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

Citing national security, the ministry said it had requested that sites such as air bases and nuclear power stations be obscured on Google’s satellite mapping services.

“The Ministry of Defence will sue Google,” the spokeswoman said, without giving further details.

Google has complied with similar requests from other governments over concerns its geomapping Google Earth, Google Maps and granular Street View services could compromise security.

Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O), said it had been working with Belgium for more than two years to respond to issues flagged by the defense ministry.

“It’s a shame the Belgium Department of Defense have decided to take this decision,” said Michiel Sallaets, a spokesman for Google in Belgium.

“We have been working closely with them for more than two years, making changes to our maps where asked and legal.”

Reporting by Alissa de Carbonnel @AdeCar; Editing by Dale Hudson

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