BJP MP Tarun Vijay on Friday raised the issue of alleged violation of the National Map Policy by Internet major Google with Defence Minister A.K. Antony and Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and pointed out that its ‘Mapathon 2013’ poses threat to national security.
Google launched the Mapathon contest between February 12 and March 25 this year asking Indians to add information about their local areas for its online map services.
On Thursday, The Hindu reported that the Survey of India had lodged a complaint with the Delhi Police on March 25, 2013 asking it to inquire into the Mapathon activity which, it said, “is likely to jeopardise national security interest and violates the National Map Policy.”
India’s mapping organisation has also expressed concern over citizens taking part in the activity without realising its legal consequences. “The Survey of India alone is mandated to undertake ‘Restricted’ category surveying and mapping and no other government/private organisation or any individual is authorised to do so,” the organisation had written to Google.
Mr. Vijay said he had urged both the Ministers to look into serious objections raised by the Survey of India and take legal action against the U.S.-based firm if it was found to have violated the law of the land. He cautioned that ignorant people might have taken the Mapathon for a fun carnival and inadvertently jeopardised nation’s security by mapping restricted areas and handing it over to a foreign company. “Google’s contribution is well saluted and recognised but should that mean it is above law and can collect whatever data without the approval of the Indian state,” he asked.