Mapping Natural Gas Lines: Advise the Public, Tip Off the Terrorists
John Young says he is an agent for change, hoping to point out places where the government needs to bolster national security. Since 1996, he has been posting documents on his Web site, ranging from detailed maps of nuclear storage facilities in New Mexico to aerial photographs of police preparations for the Republican National Convention. He has never attracted much attention from the authorities, and what he does is fully legal. But last month, Mr. Young, a 68-year-old architect originally from Odessa, Tex., began publishing maps and pictures of natural gas pipelines in New York City on his site (www.cryptome.org). One photograph was of a large sign in Midtown Manhattan warning about the presence of a major gas main, a sign that had been meant to prevent deadly accidents. Within a week, the company that owns the pipeline took the sign down.