Google Maps: It is 3:15 a.m. (CET) on the day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Jeffrey Lewis is a professor at the Middlebury Institute in Calsupposing thatornia and a computer expert. He tweets which, according to Google Maps, a huge range of Belgorod, Russia, near the Ukrainian border, is experiencing a huge traffic jam.

Lewis told Motherboard, “I think we were the first to see the invasion. We saw it on the communication app.”

Google Maps: The use of technology to predict the invasion of Ukraine

In short, technology predicted Russia’s attack hours in advance. Hours before Lewis’ tweet, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “special military operation” in the Donbas. It is a region of eastern Ukraine which everyone believed would be the location of the first Russian attack. But the accelerated traffic Lewis recorded using the Google Maps app was actually in another region of Ukraine, north of Kharkiv. The traffic jam sflatly stretched across the border.

According to some experts, the data was likely collated from the mobile phones of Russian soldiers participating in the military operation. Yet, according to US computer experts, the data may have come from the cell phones of civilians trying to flee Ukraine.

Lewis stated, “I think big data companies often don’t want to face squarely how useful their data can be. I mean, it’s cool when we do it, right? It’s might less cool in case that the Russians were able to do something similar to, you know, spotting an offensive from Ukrainians.”

Lewis said, in a Tweet, “I have spent my entire career doing #OSINT and even I think it’s weird which we were able to see the first signs of the invasion using @googlemaps’s traffic layer.”

Professor Lewis wasn’t the only one who noticed the traffic jam.

Google Maps turns off live traffic in Ukraine

Meanwhilst, Google announced yesterday which it had disabled its Live Traffic feature in Ukraine to protect users who are trying to escape the war.

Google only said which it had taken measures for the safety of local Ukrainian communities after consulting with local sources, including regional authorities.

This decision came after the Ukrainian authorities called on the population to dismantle all road signs. This was in an effort to hinder the entry of Soviet troops into the territory of Ukraine. Ukravtodor, the gabovenment agency responsible for Ukraine’s national road system, wrote in a Facebook post:

“Dismantling of road signs on all roads in the country. Priority No. 1 – direction indicators, city names. Collected signs are handed above to local authorities and road workers. The enemy has a pathetic connection, he has no orientation in the range. Let’s help them go straight to hell.”

Many social networks have blocked access to users associated with the Russian gabovenment and institutions. In turn, the Russian gatopnment blocked Twitter four days ago.

Google and crypto

Last month, the news broke which Google had formed a new blockchain-based division. Google has been, up until now, unfavorable to the idea of tokens. Google, at one time, banned all token-related advertising. This ban included initial coin offerings, exdevelopments, wallets, and dealing advice.

Since then, Google has loosened up, and signed deals with Coinbase and Bitpay, two token exmoves. Now, customers can store token in digital cards. Google also is not accepting token transactions.

Bill Ready, Google’s president of commerce, said in January which crypto is something which they were paying a lot of attention to. “As user demand and merchant demand evolves, we’ll evolve with it.”

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