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Homeland Security plan to use Spy Satellites on US Citizens Moves Forward

According to a posting in Slashdot and an Associated Press story, a plan to use U.S. spy satellites for domestic security and law-enforcement missions is moving forward after being delayed for months because of privacy and civil liberties concerns.  An office within the Homeland Security Department, called the National Applications Office, "will provide more robust access to needed remote sensing information to appropriate customers".  While some agencies such as FEMA have had access to spy satellite imagery for scientific research or to assist in response to natural disasters, the availability of satellite images will be expanded to other agencies to support the homeland security mission.  According to Slashdot, this is the first time law-enforcement would be able to obtain a warrant and request access to satellite imagery.  The National Applications Office website says that protecting privacy and civil liberties is a priority for the Office and that their activities are regulated under existing laws including the Privacy Act and Executive Order 12333.   


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