Google Maps car stopped in Phrae; driver accused of being govt spy

A Google Maps camera car was prevented from passing through a village in northern Thailand yesterday because the residents suspected the vehicle’s driver of being a spy.

Dephrom Fufong, a 27-year-old Chiang Mai man, was briefly detained for interrogation when he drove his camera-mounted Google car into Phrae’s Song district.

The villagers thought that the government had sent the car to survey the neighborhood for a controversial dam project, which has reached a stalemate as local residents strongly oppose its construction.

Dephrom was forced to swear in front of a Buddha image at the village temple that he had not shot anything in the area. He was then asked to leave.

Dephrom said he was given a letter issued by the village head outlining why Google wasn’t allowed to show the area on its Google Street View service, Mthai reported.

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