How to Lie with Maps: When Open Source and National Security Collide Redux

I wanted to briefly follow up the discussion about blurring on-line maps.

I am currently reading a very enlightening book entitled Blank Spots on the Map: The Dark Geography of the Pentagon's Secret World.

The thrust of the book, like my argument against Assemblyman Anderson's position, is that the more you blur the lines, the more you are holding up a neon sign saying look at me here, which means you need to blur the lines more.

Trevor Paglen, the author, is taking the tact that the geography (or physics) in the broad terms will give you away, no matter how much you disclaim the fact that there is nothing there to see.

I am only a quarter of the way through the book, but so far, it has covered topics of doing traffic analysis to discover where secret bases are, how the US has hidden things in plain sight and mapping the sky to find spy satellites and tie them to various projects.

It is a fascinating look at how a large community of people are exposing the secrets just because there is an attempt to hide it.


David Lane, KG4GIY is a member of Linux Journal's Editorial Advisory Panel and the Control Op for Linux Journal's Virtual Ham Shack

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