Feeds

American space self-monitoring plan delayed

Satellite must sit on arse

Remote control for virtualized desktops

America is delaying controversial plans to use satellites for spying on itself. It was announced yesterday that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would not open its planned National Applications Office until legislators' concerns were addressed.

The idea of the National Applications Office was that it would allow the use of powerful US surveillance and scientific satellites to support security operations within America itself. Spy satellites in particular normally work at the behest of agencies focused beyond the American borders.

Under DHS plans, however, space intel would be obtainable by law-enforcement, disaster relief and security officials who would not normally have such access. This would perhaps boost border security, policing, counter-terrorism and even emergency management efforts by federal officials.

But Democrats on the congressional oversight committee have viewed the plans with alarm, and have now won a halt to proceedings until the DHS clarifies exactly how the new satellite-surveillance office will work, for whom and what procedures it will follow.

DHS Chief Intelligence Officer Charles Allen has now reportedly written to the Homeland Security committee chairman, saying that the Department "has no intention to begin operations until we address your questions." Allen said he plans to provide Thompson with "a progress report" this week, followed by a detailed briefing.

"I look forward to working with you and your committee to ensure the National Applications Office enhances support to homeland security, protects US privacy and civil liberties, and is consistent with the Constitution and all applicable laws and regulations," the letter said.

The US already has procedures for using spy satellites against locations within its own borders. An existing body, the Civil Applications Committee, handles such matters at the moment. According to the DHS, the proposed new office would offer better and easier access balanced by more layers of oversight.

More from GovExec.com here

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
BIG FAT Lies: Porky Pies about obesity
What really shortens lives? Reading this sort of crap in the papers
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.