Google Maps Accidentally Exposes Taiwan's Top Military Secrets

As a service designed to map out every street on the globe, Google Maps has uncovered some weird and wonderful secrets over the years - hence why China still refuses to allow its use.

Perhaps Taiwan didn't get the memo, as the country's military service is now scrambling to hide secret sites exposed by new 3D satellite images taken by the navigational app.

Credit: Google Maps
Credit: Google Maps

According to Business Insider, Google Maps has opened up a can of worms with 3D renderings of the National Security Bureau, the Military Intelligence Bureau and what was, up until now, a secret Patriot missile base, as well as additional defence infrastructure.

Not only have the locations and structures been made visible, but you can even make out the types of launchers and models of the missiles at the sites. Whoops!

The tech giant released the snaps on Wednesday, offering an extension of its original satellite lay out of the world's major cities, including three-dimensional images of Taiwan's Taipei, New Taipei, Taoyuan and Taichung.

Credit: Google Maps
Credit: Google Maps

If you're wondering why the country wanted to keep its missile bases on the down low, the country faces increased pressure from Beijing, which considers the self-ruled democratic territory to be a renegade province that should be brought together as a 'one country, two systems' model - by force if necessary.

So yeah, national security is at the top of its list of priorities right now. As such, Taiwan's Defence Minister Yen Teh-fa said a task force has been established in a bid to work with Google and get the locations in question blurred out.

Credit: Google Maps
Credit: Google Maps

That said, Yen assured the public during an interview with CNA by saying: "The site of defence infrastructure at times of peace does not indicate its location at times of war."

He went on to explain that the government will examine the issue and work with Google to sort out the blunder, adding that it wouldn't affect regular military operations.

Credit: Google Maps
Credit: Google Maps

Under the nation's Fort Act, tech companies are not granted permission to reveal major military bases on the island - however, this doesn't extend to all sites, including the classified Patriot missile defence base in Xindian District.

"There is a need to further review the law," Yen added.

Featured Image Credit: Google Maps

Daisy Phillipson

Daisy is a UK-based freelance journalist with too many opinions. She loves everything film and music-related and has a track record writing for Little White Lies, BWRC, and Film Daily. Contact her at [email protected]

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