India Seeks to Limit Use of Maps and Satellite Images
Indians are discussing a plan to ban use of maps or satellite images of the country without approval from the government.
The plan's critics have launched an online campaign called "Save The Map." They say the proposed ban could affect many new businesses and services that use technology.
The Geospatial Information Regulation Bill would require anyone who wants to use, publish or own maps or geospatial data to seek official permission. A special security committee would consider such requests.
Indian officials say the proposed law would help protect military bases from enemies and terrorists. They deny it would cause problems for businesses.
But Internet experts say the law would affect anyone who uses mobile phones, laptop computers and online companies, such as ride services. They also fear that the ban would affect computer software programs and Apple or Google Map products.
The Center for Internet and Society (CIS) in Bangalore also has criticized the bill. It says the measure would return India to where it was more than 30 years ago -- when businesses were forced to get licenses from government officials before they could begin to operate. Pranesh Prakash works at the center.
"What it does (is) it puts in place a license raj for all use of mapping technologies. That just does not make sense. No other country in the world has this regressive mapping law."
Technology experts from Bangalore launched the "Save The Map" campaign. It is calling on Indians to demand that the government change the planned law. The campaign is hoping to copy a successful campaign called "Save The Internet," which pressured the government to ensure equal access to the Internet.
Indian officials have sought to calm critics, saying the bill is not final. The government has asked people to give ideas on how it should be changed by June 4.
Officials note the country is dealing with an increasing number of security issues, including an attack at an air base in northern India earlier this year. Terrorists based in Pakistan were said to have carried out the attack.
Junior Home Minister Kiren Rijiju told a newspaper that the law is needed because India must have ways to "secure its boundary and territory."
But Prakash notes that the measure would not stop terrorists from using geospatial data from sources outside India.
"They need satellite imagery and they need maps, period. Now this law doesn't actually prevent such maps from being created, it doesn't actually prevent satellite images of India being captured. What it does is prevent Indians from doing so. So it actually won't prevent foreign-based terrorists -- especially state-backed terrorists -- from attacking India."
Internet and policy experts say the government would not be able to stop others from creating maps or satellite images of sensitive locations in the country.
I'm Anne Ball.
1.satellite images 卫星图片
Even on a clear day, an oil slick may be imperceptible in photo-like satellite images.
2.geospatial data 地理空间数据
Geospatial data with high degree accuracy is one of important safeguards for realizing precise strike.
3.official permission 官方许可；正式批准
Do you think it necessary to ask for official permission for the event to take place?
4.military bases 军事基地
They held a string of military bases in west Africa.
1."What it does (is) it puts in place a license raj for all use of mapping technologies.
put in place 落实到位；实施
All the money needed has been put in place.
Before you leave the office, everything should be put in place.
在离开办公室之前, 应把所有物品摆放好 。
2.That just does not make sense.
make sense 有意义；讲得通
Can you make sense of what I say?
This long sentence doesn't make sense at all.
反对该法案的民众发起了“拯救地图”的网络活动 。他们表示这项禁令会影响很多以技术为生的新兴企业和服务行业 。
《地理空间监管法案》规定任何人想要使用、发布或者保存地图或者地理空间数据时必须获得政府许可 。申请许可由特殊的安全委员进行审核 。
印度官员称，这项议案意在保护军事基地免遭敌人和恐怖分子的威胁 。他们否认这会给企业带来任何问题 。
但互联网专家表示，这项法律会影响到手机、笔记本电脑和在线公司服务（比如打车服务）的用户 。他们还担心，这项禁令会间接影响电脑软件程序及苹果、谷歌的地图产品的销售 。
位于班加罗尔的互联网与社会研究中心（CIS）同样反对这项法案 。该机构称，此举将让印度倒退30余年——当时的企业被强制要求获取政府许可执照后方可经营 。普拉尼什·普拉卡什在该中心任职 。
“这是向所有地图技术的使用者强行实施执照律法 。这根本毫无意义 。其他国家没有这样退化式的地图法律 。”
班加罗尔的技术专家发起了“拯救地图”活动 。他们呼吁人民向政府提出修改计划法案的请求 。他们希望能够得到像“拯救互联网”活动一样的结果——当时“拯救互联网”组织向政府施压，要求保证对互联网的合法使用权 。
印度官员试图安抚反对民众尚未情绪，他们称法案尚未最终敲定 。政府已经就6月4日前如何修改该法案向公众征求意见 。
官员指出，国家正在面临越来越多的安全问题，例如年初印度北部一处空军基地遭到袭击 。据称该袭击系巴基斯坦境内的恐怖分子所为 。
印度内政部长Kiren Rijiju接受报社采访时表示，该律法的实施十分必要，因为印度必须得有“保卫边境和国土”的对策 。
“他们需要卫星影像和地图，就是这样 。这项法律根本无法真正阻止他们绘制印度地图，也无法阻止他们收集印度的卫星图像 。而这项法律只能用来限制印度人 。所以说，这根本阻止不了境外的恐怖分子攻击印度——尤其是那些有国家背景的恐怖分子 。”