Google's Project Loon - an initiative to connect the entire world to the internet using airborne balloons - is now facing one of its biggest hurdles to date. Various governmental bodies in India are trying to derail a meeting this week between Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi by throwing up technical and security-related issues.
According to the Indian news outlet Economic Times, the minister for communication and IT, Ravi Shankar Prasad, said in India's upper house of Parliament: "The proposed frequency band to be used in the Loon Project of Google is being used for cellular operations in India and it will lead to interference with cellular transmissions."
At least three central ministries - defence, home and civil aviation - have raised technical and security concerns over the project.
The civil aviation ministry's concern about Loon is quite obvious - they're worried that planes may collide with the balloons, and say that they should be monitored by Air Traffic Control. Meanwhile, the home ministry is scared that they could be used as vehicles for surveillance, and the defence ministry is worried in case the balloons float over military establishments and get in the way of military aircraft.
Time will tell whether Google and India can work past these issues. Pichai and Modi previously discussed the project in September when the Prime Minister visited Silicon Valley.