Google was forced to remove images of several top secret British security and military buildings from its controversial Street View service amid fears they could be the target of a terrorist attack, it was claimed.
The search engine giant ignored warnings around some of the sensitive buildings that it could in breach of the Official Secrets Act if it published images of the sites.
Reports on Sunday suggested that images had been taken of buildings and locations throughout Britain including the Special Boat Service and Special Air Service bases, a Government atomic weapons research centre, security services’ eavesdropping centres and MI5 headquarters.
There are fears that the detailed disclosures of some of the location could be useful to terrorists or hostile foreign governments.
Google on Sunday said drivers were trained not to take photographs in areas which were banned under the law but admitted that “if mistakes are made we will act quickly to remove the images”.
The Daily Telegraph is prevented from detailing many of the locations for security reasons. Anyone caught taking pictures could face charges under the Official Secrets Act.
A picture taken outside the SBS headquarters in the country’s southwest included a warning, highlighted in red, that said: “Prohibited place within the meaning of the Official Secrets Act.