Secret squirrels

12:00 am Web, Stupidity, Media, Tech

What a load of fuss over nothing on the Today programme this morning. Some wandering hack somewhere has stumbled across the high-res aerial photos of places like GCHQ on the Getmapping.com site. This, apparently, is a hideous threat to national security. Yeah, right. GCHQ’s so secret there’s signposts to it off the Cheltenham ring road. Nonetheless, they wheeled on various ex-spooks and counter-terrorism experts to tell them how awful it all was, with just a brief contribution from the bloke at the Ministry of Defence who said it was perfectly OK. The whole thing smacks of a PR stunt by the Getmapping folks themselves, particularly when you get some bloke from Scotland Yard saying things like, “The clarity of the images available from Getmapping.com would certainly be valuable to those planning a terrorist attack”. Now that’s a sales pitch. Seems to have worked, too, the site’s slow as ketchup this morning…

The story clearly wasn’t important enough to make the TV, though. The BBC’s Breakfast this morning was entirely devoted to wittering about the England/Argentina match (as covered exclusively by the BBC) and to plugging a new series of Casualty (Saturday nights, BBC1). Public service broadcasting - gotta love it.

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