Saturday, November 16, 2013

Senate Intelligence Urges Looser Satellite Imagery Restrictions

via Space News
By Mike Gruss | Nov. 15, 2013 

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee approved legislation that recommends allowing U.S. firms to sell higher-resolution satellite imagery on the open market, a move welcomed by DigitalGlobe and other companies that have suggested changes. The relaxed imagery-resolution restrictions were recommended in a report the committee released Nov. 13 detailing the unclassified provisions of the intelligence authorization bill it approved Nov. 5.

“The Committee is concerned that foreign commercial imagery providers may soon be able to provide imagery at or better than the currently allowed commercial U.S. resolution limit of 0.5 meters,” lawmakers state in the 25-page report accompanying the 2014 Intelligence Authorization Act (S. 1681), which the committee voted 13-2 to send to the Senate floor. “As foreign firms approach or surpass this level of resolution, 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.”
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