Earlier today, we mentioned Google.com's efforts to blot out the White House in satellite photos. Since then, we've learned the campaign extends far beyond Google. Writes one operative: "It appears that they've gotten to www.terraserver.com, too." And another: "It's interesting that the more-detailed and taxpayer funded data sources (NASA's World Wind with USGS satellite data) has identical protection of the White House and the Capital."
But is this really special protection for the President from googling terrorists? Or just wishful thinking from anti-American software geeks who fantasize about a world in which George W. Bush simply doesn't exist? ("Also blurred is our chunk of the coastline at Keenebunkport, ME in not-so-subtle-or-even-well-blended white-out. Crawford: similar.") We were leaning toward the latter hypothesis until one of our correspondents convinced us otherwise: "It's rather interesting, however, what's NOT blurry: the Supreme Court and the Federal Reserve building. Who decided that it was necessary to 'protect' only two of the three branches of government?" Even worse is the Google Maps image we found when we looked at the address for the UN. — GREG BEATO