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May 3, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

CNN, which likes to boast that its greatest assets are its greater accuracy and credibility, raised eyebrows when it seemed to suggest over the weekend that all one needs to do to see what’s happening anywhere in the world at any given time is access Google Earth. During its coverage of the alleged Times Square bombing attempt, anchor Don Lemon observed that he was unable to get a clear picture of the area from Google Earth and suggested that the reason might be related to the tight security imposed by authorities following the discovery of the bomb. He then turned to his guest, Tom Fuentes, the former FBI Assistant Director of International Relations, and asked, “What should we garner from this when this area is even blurred out on Google Earth because of this security alert?” Fuentes then replied, “I think they don’t want you to see exactly what kind of work they’re doing.” The website quickly picked up on the comments and pointed out to readers, “Google Earth images are not in real time! So there’s no reason to blur the area for a temporary high-security situation. Those pictures were taken months ago.” In fact, as anyone with access to Google would learn in an instant, those images are “approximately one to three years old. … The information in Google Earth is collected over time and is not ‘real time.'”