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Google Cancels All Waze And Maps In Gaza And Israel

All Routes From Google Maps Are Inactive Temporarily

Google is temporarily blocking Maps and Waze in both Israel and Gaza following a request from the Israel Defence Forces (IDF). Google Maps is used by more than one billion people worldwide, who provide real-time data to Google for traffic and road conditions analysis. According to a report by Insider, the move comes amid the growing expectations of an Israeli ground invasion of Gaza, and the real-time data on the apps could expose the real-time location of Israeli troops on the ground. Google may be worried that the driver data, traffic jam reports, and other reports could expose forces in the field, or even identify potential targets for attack.

Google had also temporarily disabled Maps during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in order to protect local communities. According to a Google spokesperson, “as we have done in previous conflict situations and as the situation in Ukraine continues to evolve, we are temporarily disabling the ability to view real-time traffic conditions and congestion information out of concern for local communities.” Anyone navigating to a particular location will still be able to view routes and traffic entry points that reflect current traffic conditions. In February of last year, Professor Jeffrey Lewis of Middlebury Institute pointed out that Google’s traffic layer of Maps was showing traffic data from Android users who were unable to get on the roads due to Russian military movements. “We compared the traffic data with satellite imagery taken a few days before,” Lewis said, according to Vice.

A subsidiary of Google, Waze provides real-time traffic information and road structures that can be used by other app users to help them navigate traffic jams. According to Waze, users can report traffic, accident, police trap, blocked roads, and weather conditions to the community through Waze. Unlike Maps, Waze is only for vehicles, while Maps also provides walking directions and information about public transit. According to Geektime, both Google and Apple have removed the ability to view the traffic reports, as well as their traffic maps, meaning that the new policy takes precedence over any Google or Apple navigation product in Israel. As a result of Google’s decision, fake placenames containing anti-Israel messages appeared on Maps, according to CNN. Messages such as “F**k Israel,” “May god curse Israel’s Jerusalem,” and ”



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