Accession Number : ADA484669


Title :   Satellite Surveillance: Domestic Issues


Corporate Author : LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE


Personal Author(s) : Best, Jr , Richard A ; Elsea, Jennifer K


Full Text : https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a484669.pdf


Report Date : 27 Jun 2008


Pagination or Media Count : 31


Abstract : Reconnaissance satellites, first deployed in the early l960s to peer into denied regions of the Soviet Union and other secretive enemy states, have from time to time been used by civilian agencies of the federal government to assist with mapping, disaster relief, and environmental concerns. These uses have been coordinated by the Civil Applications Office at the U.S. Geological Survey, a component of the Interior Department. Post 9/11, the Bush Administration has sought to encourage use of satellite-derived data for homeland security and law enforcement purposes, in addition to the civil applications that have been supported for years. In 2007, it moved to transfer responsibility for coordinating civilian use of satellites to the Department of Homeland Security. The initiative was launched, however, apparently without notification of key congressional oversight committees. Members of Congress and outside groups have raised concerns that using satellites for law enforcement purposes may infringe on the privacy and Fourth Amendment rights of U.S. persons. Other commentators have questioned whether the proposed surveillance will violate the Posse Comitatus Act or other restrictions on military involvement in civilian law enforcement, or would otherwise exceed the statutory mandates of the agencies involved. Such concerns led Congress to preclude any funds in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008 (H.R. 2764, P.L. 110-161), from being used to commence operations of the National Applications Office until the Secretary [of the Department of Homeland Security] certifies that these programs comply with all existing laws, including all applicable privacy and civil liberties standards, and that certification is reviewed by the Government Accountability Office. (Section 525.) Similar language has been included in FY2009 homeland security appropriations bills.


Descriptors :   *DOMESTIC , *RECONNAISSANCE SATELLITES , *LAW ENFORCEMENT , ARTIFICIAL SATELLITES , STANDARDS , GEOLOGICAL SURVEYS , HOMELAND SECURITY , CONGRESS , LEGISLATION , ACCOUNTABILITY , INTERNAL , UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT , CIVIL AFFAIRS


Subject Categories : Unmanned Spacecraft
      Sociology and Law


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE