Since Google launched its Google Earth feature in 2005, the company has become a worldwide leader in providing high-resolution satellite imagery. In 2010, Google Earth allowed the world to see the extent of the destruction in post-earthquake Haiti. This year, Google released similar images after Japanâ€™s deadly tsunami and earthquake. With just one click, Google can bring the worldâ€”and a better understanding of far-away eventsâ€”to your computer.
There is one entire country, however, that Google Earth wonâ€™t show you: Israel.
Thatâ€™s because, in 1997, Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act, one section of which is titled, â€œProhibition on collection and release of detailed satellite imagery relating to Israel.â€ The amendment, known as the Kyl-Bingaman Amendment, calls for a federal agency, the NOAAâ€™s Commercial Remote Sensing Regulatory Affairs, to regulate the dissemination of zoomed-in images of Israel.