Feeds

US allows commercial use of sharper satellite snaps

American satellite operators catch up with France

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

US-based satellite-images-for-sale outfit DigitalGlobe has had a win: its national government will allow it to sell higher-resolution images.

As we noted in March, the US Senate has been considering whether local satellite operators should be allowed to sell more detailed images. The reason for the deliberations was that while DigitalGlobe and others were limited to 0.5 metre resolution, “foreign firms approach or surpass this level of resolution” meaning “current restrictions on U.S. commercial imagery data providers put the United States at a competitive disadvantage and may harm an industrial base that is important to national security.”

That argument appears to have proved irresistible, as the company late last week announced it can now offer sub-half-metre imagery.

DigitalGlobe is widely believed to offer even higher-resolution images to government clients. Its site now advertises the chance to acquire “.3-.6 meter” imagery that makes it possible to “easily discern key features such as manholes and mailboxes.”

Privacy groups are often far from keen on satellite imagery, so before they get all huffy about this relaxation of the rules let's remember that other nations already allow sale of images at similar resolutions. Let's also remember, as we pointed out in 2012 there's lots of 10cm imagery out there . Some of it is even free, with copyright thrown in!

Good luck then to DigitalGlobe: we hope it fares well against competitors. And that people don't get too worried that the USA's decision to let it sell sharper snaps means some new era of surveillance is upon us. ®

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.