Bahrainis use Google Earth to spy on royals' palaces

Marilyn sez, "Ordinary Bahrainis are using Google Earth to spy on the many gargantuan palaces, yachts,former national parks and waterfront properties (90% of the country) owned by the royal family and their cronies, while the rest of the country lives in squalor."

Mahmood al-Yousif, a businessman whose political chat and blog site Mahmood's Den is among Bahrain's most popular, says that in the tense run-up to the polls, few Bahrainis have not surfed over the contours of their kingdom, comparing vast royal palaces, marinas and golf courses with crowded Shia villages nearby, where unemployment is rife and services meagre.

For those with insufficient bandwidth to access Google Earth, a PDF file with dozens of downloaded images of royal estates has been circulated anonymously by e-mail. Mr Yousif, among others, initially encouraged web users to post images on photo-sharing websites.

"Some of the palaces take up more space than three or four villages nearby and block access to the sea for fishermen. People knew this already. But they never saw it. All they saw were the surrounding walls," said Mr Yousif, who is seen in Bahrain as the grandfather of its blogging community.

Link, Link to PDF closeups of Bahrain's palaces, Mahmoud's Den coverage

(Thanks, Marilyn)