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Posted: 9/8/2004 12:38:20 PM EST


(many hotlinks in the article)

www.defensetech.org/archives/001096.html

SATELLITE PICS GOING DARK?

You might be able to see the hurricanes heading for Florida. Maybe. But just about all other commercial satellite imagery could be put off-limits, if a new Senate bill goes through as planned.

The measure, "Nondisclosure of Certain Products of Commercial Satellite Operations," would exempt from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) unclassified, commercial satellite pictures bought up by the government, as well as "any... other product that is derived from such data."

"Almost every clause of the proposed exemption embodies patent hostility to the conventions of open government and public access to government information," Secrecy News fumes.

For example, "maps, reports, and any other unclassified government analyses or communications that are in some way 'derived from' a commercial satellite image would all of a sudden become inaccessible."

News reports would get a whole lot thinner, too. As Barbara Cochran, head of the Radio-Television News Directors Association, notes, the press relies on satellite pictures constantly, to track everything from weather to war to population shifts. "Recent uses include coverage of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts; nuclear and other WMD sites in Iran, Pakistan, India, Libya, North Korea, China, and other countries; flooding in Bangladesh and Eastern India; deforestation in Brazil; wildfires and tornadoes in the United States; and refugee crises in the Sudan [and] Rwanda," she writes.

If this regulation passes, much of that imagery – not classified in any way, and collected by a private company, not a government agency -- would vanish from public view.

"In essence," Cochran says in a letter to Congress, "this new FOIA exemption would result in taxpayer dollars being used to preclude the media from adequately informing the public about matters of critical importance that in no way implicate the national security."
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 12:49:15 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/8/2004 12:49:58 PM EST by Cold_Warrior]
This has been in place since psuedo hi-res systems were allowed to be built and marketed. The .gov has agreements in place with all US vendors of psuedo hi-res satellite imagery that allows the restriction of data collection and dissemination at the .gov's discretion.

CW
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 1:00:07 PM EST
Sounds like prudent and reasonable action to me.
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 1:11:04 PM EST
Man, seems like everything now revolves around the "it's a security risk so you can't have access to it anymore." I don't know the whole in and out of being able to have access to satellite images, but anytime the gov prohibits something, it makes me raise an eyebrow.
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 1:24:02 PM EST
It is weird that you can get satellite images of everywhere in the USA, but to guys that travel a lot and need maps for business of other parts of the world have always been hard to find. During Iraq2 there was a company that downloaded Baghdad street level sat views to MSNBC, I am sure the media can get access....
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 1:29:46 PM EST
Horseshit,

France et. al. specifically designed and launched `SPOT type' sats to provide low grade intel for any third world stinkpits that could afford to buy it.

Fuck `suppressing' images. Why are we not arranging some fortunate collisions with "space debris?"
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 1:41:45 PM EST

Originally Posted By Sub-MOA:
Horseshit,

France et. al. specifically designed and launched `SPOT type' sats to provide low grade intel for any third world stinkpits that could afford to buy it.

Fuck `suppressing' images. Why are we not arranging some fortunate collisions with "space debris?"


There are better ways.

CW
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 3:43:38 PM EST

Originally Posted By Airwolf:


(many hotlinks in the article)

www.defensetech.org/archives/001096.html

SATELLITE PICS GOING DARK?

You might be able to see the hurricanes heading for Florida. Maybe. But just about all other commercial satellite imagery could be put off-limits, if a new Senate bill goes through as planned.

The measure, "Nondisclosure of Certain Products of Commercial Satellite Operations," would exempt from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) unclassified, commercial satellite pictures bought up by the government, as well as "any... other product that is derived from such data."

"Almost every clause of the proposed exemption embodies patent hostility to the conventions of open government and public access to government information," Secrecy News fumes.

For example, "maps, reports, and any other unclassified government analyses or communications that are in some way 'derived from' a commercial satellite image would all of a sudden become inaccessible."

News reports would get a whole lot thinner, too. As Barbara Cochran, head of the Radio-Television News Directors Association, notes, the press relies on satellite pictures constantly, to track everything from weather to war to population shifts. "Recent uses include coverage of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts; nuclear and other WMD sites in Iran, Pakistan, India, Libya, North Korea, China, and other countries; flooding in Bangladesh and Eastern India; deforestation in Brazil; wildfires and tornadoes in the United States; and refugee crises in the Sudan [and] Rwanda," she writes.

If this regulation passes, much of that imagery – not classified in any way, and collected by a private company, not a government agency -- would vanish from public view.

"In essence," Cochran says in a letter to Congress, "this new FOIA exemption would result in taxpayer dollars being used to preclude the media from adequately informing the public about matters of critical importance that in no way implicate the national security."



only under FOIA, if I understand this right....that just means you can't get it from the gov, not that the government is censoring or otherwise secreting all commercial satellite transmissions. Remember, the only thing FOIA does is permit access to these things from the .gov.
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 3:45:53 PM EST
Here's how I see it ...

If *I* know what's happening then odds are the terrorists and enemy will have that same information. I'm more than happy to sacrifice images or the like to keep that stuff out of their hands. I'm not saying that I want to live in oblivion, but we NEED an element of surprise on our side.

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