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Federal police will gain access to military spy satellites

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday, below, that Homeland 
Security and other federal police will gain access to military spy 

This is akin to what I wrote about last year, which is police agencies 
trying to use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for surveillance over U.S. 

Both raise important privacy concerns. But if the people being 
surveilled are walking or driving on a public street, current precedent 
says police surveillance, even aggressive police surveillance, is just 



U.S. to Expand Domestic Use Of Spy Satellites
August 15, 2007; Page A1

The U.S.'s top intelligence official has greatly expanded the range of 
federal and local authorities who can get access to information from the 
nation's vast network of spy satellites in the U.S.

The decision, made three months ago by Director of National Intelligence 
Michael McConnell, places for the first time some of the U.S.'s most 
powerful intelligence-gathering tools at the disposal of domestic 
security officials. The move was authorized in a May 25 memo sent to 
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff asking his department to 
facilitate access to the spy network on behalf of civilian agencies and 
law enforcement.

Until now, only a handful of federal civilian agencies, such as the 
National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the U.S. Geological 
Survey, have had access to the most basic spy-satellite imagery, and 
only for the purpose of scientific and environmental study.

[...remainder snipped...]

Posted by Declan McCullagh on Aug 17, 2007 in category privacy

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