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CBI registered PE against Google over Mapathon 2013 for jeopardising national security

Jul 31, 2014 10:59 IST

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on 28 July 2014 registered a preliminary enquiry (PE) against Internet giant Google over Mapathon 2013, an event organised by the US-based company.

The PE was registered on grounds of violating National Map Policy 2005 and jeopardising national security.

The CBI registered the enquiry following a complaint filed by Surveyor General of India's office to the Union Home Ministry in which Google was accused of indulging in activities of mapping several areas which were not included in the maps of the country.

The Issue

Mapathon 2013 was conducted by Google in February – March 2013 in which Google asked citizens to map their neighbourhoods, especially details related to hospitals and restaurants.

However, in March 2014, Surveyor General of India (SGI) asked Google to stop the contest and asked to share the details where SGI found that there were several coordinates having details of sensitive defence installations which are out of the public domain.

Highlighting the violations to the Union Home Ministry, the SGI explained that under the National Map Policy 2005 it was mandated to undertake restricted category surveying and mapping, and no other government or private organisations or individual are authorised to do so.

Surveyor General of India

Surveyor General of India is the oldest scientific department of the Government of India. It was set up in 1767 and is based in Dehradun, Uttarakhand.

Organized into only 5 Directorates in 1950, mainly to look after the mapping needs of Defence Forces in North West and North East, the Department has now grown into 22 Directorates spread in approx. all parts (states) of the country to provide the basic map coverage required for the development of the country.

Dr. Swarna Subba Rao is the current Surveyor General of India.

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