Washington DC – NIAC has protested Google’s inclusion of the politically divisive term “Arabian Gulf” on its application Google Earth. Historically, the usage of this term for the Persian Gulf has been led by pan-Arab figures such as Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser and Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to rally the Arab masses against the non-Arab peoples in the Middle East. In 2004, NIAC successfully convinced the National Geographic Society to correct their online maps and the 9th edition of their Atlas.
Last week, NIAC’s Board sent a letter to Google’s CEO, Dr. Eric E. Schmidt, pointing out the political nature of including this alternative term for the Persian Gulf on their applications. NIAC is also seeking a meeting with Schmidt to ensure that the mistake is corrected.