Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/06/23/dhs_killing_satellite_self_spy_program/

DHS killing satellite self-spying program

Space cops 'not an urgent issue'

By Austin Modine

Posted in Security, 23rd June 2009 17:09 GMT

America is reportedly abandoning its plans to use satellites to spy on itself.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has decided to nix the Bush-era domestic space security scheme after discussions with law enforcement officials, the Associated Press reports.

Citing an unnamed government official, the AP says Napolitano was told the program was not an urgent issue.

Announced in 2007, the domestic satellite spy program would allow US police, immigration, drug-enforcement, and other security and law enforcement agencies to have access to data from powerful US surveillance and scientific satellites passing over the country.

The program was delayed when Democrats on the congressional oversight committee demanded assurances that adequate privacy and civil liberty safeguards were in place.

California House Democrat Jane Harman told the AP that the program was still a part of the Obama administration's 2010 budget request and that she hadn't been given final word that the idea has been killed.

Meanwhile, New York House Republican Peter King told the publication abandoning the domestic satellite spying program would be a "very big mistake" and a "step back in the war on terror." ®