Until now, San Francisco city officials responsible for land use and state officials responsible for the bay have said they didn't know what was being built there. Coast Guard inspectors who visited the construction sites could not discuss what they saw. Lt. Anna Dixon said non-disclosure agreements were signed, but that those were not necessary, and that the Coast Guard, as a practice, doesn't share proprietary information it sees during inspections.
If Google wants to operate an on-barge interactive learning center in the San Francisco Bay, the firm will eventually need to get permission from the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission.
The East Coast barge, built in a New London, Conn., harbor in July was recently towed to Maine.
Last year Google proposed building a land-based "Google Experience Center" which would operate as a private museum and demo space as part of new $120 billion Googleplex headquarters it is building in Mountain View, Calif., where it is headquartered.