Tag Archive | United States

To License or Not to License Geospatial Data: Still a Challenge for Government Agencies

All Points Blog, Feb 25, 2013

Tim de Troye from the State of South Carolina offered a presentation that is an ongoing issue among states and local governments about how they distribute geospatial data collected with taxpayer money. He recognized that some organizations copyright their data and that data in South Carolina, for example, is available but through different agreements depending on whether it is spatial or not.

The big question in licensing geospatial data is to license or not to license?

For full text of this article, please visit To License or Not to License Geospatial Data: Still a Challenge for Government Agencies – All Points Blog.

 

Is Social Media a Cybersecurity Gamechanger?

February 27, 2013

The Commons Lab just released a new policy memo analyzing the increased potential of social media to exacerbate conflict situations and create cybersecurity threats – a potential “gamechanger” as the United States seeks to ramp up its cybersecurity efforts. The brief is the first in the program’s Policy Memo Series. Author: Dr. Rebecca Goolsby.

Summary: Social media is responsible for much positive change in the world. But these new tools can be used by bad actors to foment strife and undermine stability, as seen during violent incidents in the Assam state of northeast India in July 2012. Cybersecurity efforts must take into account the growing potential for cyber-attack using social media, where hoax messages are incorporated into a stream of otherwise legitimate messages, and understand how quickly mobile apps and text services can disseminate false information. Authorities and volunteers must develop a healthy skepticism about information derived from these systems and new research and tools are needed to facilitate the self-policing of social media.

To download a copy of the report On Cybersecurity, Crowdsourcing, and Social Cyber-Attack (PDF), go to the Commons Lab Reports Collection on Scribd.

via Is Social Media a Cybersecurity Gamechanger? | Commons Lab.

Lawmakers Target Drones With “Preserving American Privacy Act Of 2013″

by Kit Eaton, Fast Company, Feb 18, 2013

New draft legislation in the House of Representatives is attempting to restrict the private use of drones, making it a misdemeanor to use a UAV to photograph a person or their property without their explicit permission. Public space use would be equally limited, according to the “Preserving American Privacy Act of 2013″ (PDF), requiring a max altitude of just six feet. Law enforcement bodies would have to obtain a warrant or court order to be able collect information on individuals in a private area. …

For full text of the article, visit Lawmakers Target Drones With “Preserving American Privacy Act Of 2013″ | Fast Company.

 

Podcast: Future U.S. Workforce for GEOINT

This got geoint? podcast features the recently published report on the “Future U.S. Workforce for Geospatial Intelligence,” released this week by the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Keith C. Clarke of the University of California, Santa Barbara, chair of the Committee on the Future U.S. Workforce for Geospatial Intelligence, joins us to discuss the main findings in the report, including why and how it was conducted, key trends emerging in the industry, current and anticipated expertise gaps, and current training programs.

To listen to the podcast, click Podcast: Future U.S. Workforce for GEOINT. To download a copy of the PDF report, click here.

Even Hobby Drones Could Be Made Illegal In Texas

by Rebecca Boyle, POPSCI, February 12, 2013

On a hazy day last January, an unmanned aircraft enthusiast piloted his camera-equipped drone in the vicinity of a Dallas meatpacking plant, cruising around 400 feet in the air. To test his equipment, he took some photos of the Trinity River with a point-and-shoot camera mounted to his $75 foam airframe. When he retrieved the remote-controlled aircraft, he noticed something odd in the photos: A crimson stream, which appeared to be blood, leaking into a river tributary. …On Dec. 26, a grand jury handed down several indictments against the owners of the Columbia Packing Company for dumping pig blood into a creek. … Under a new law proposed in the Texas legislature, sponsored by a lawmaker from the Dallas suburbs, this type of activity could soon be criminal. …

Texas House Bill 912–and similar laws under debate right now in Oregon and elsewhere–are driving a burgeoning debate about how to use and control unmanned air systems, from an AR.Drone to a quadcopter. The Federal Aviation Administration is in the process of drafting new rules governing unmanned aircraft in civilian airspace, including military-style aircraft. But in the meantime, plenty of cheap, easy-to-use aircraft are already popular among hobbyists and, increasingly, activists and law enforcement.

For full text of the article Even Hobby Drones Could Be Made Illegal In Texas | Popular Science.

VA Becomes First State to Pass Drone Regulations

by Jason Koebler, US News & World Report, Feb 5, 2012

The Virginia General Assembly passed a bill Tuesday that will put a two-year moratorium on the use of drones by state and local law enforcement. If signed by Gov. Bob McDonnell, Virginia will become the first state in the U.S. to enact drone regulations. Virginia House Bill 2012 easily passed Monday by a vote of 83-16 and its companion, Senate Bill 1331, passed Tuesday by a vote of 36-2.

For full text of the article, visit Virginia Becomes First State to Pass Drone Regulations – US News and World Report.

Seattle mayor ends police drone efforts

USA Today, February 7, 2013

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle’s mayor on Thursday ordered the police department to abandon its plan to use drones after residents and privacy advocates protested. Mayor Mike McGinn said the department will not use two small drones it obtained through a federal grant….The decision comes as the debate over drones heats up across the country. Lawmakers in at least 11 states are looking at plans to restrict the use of drones over their skies amid concerns the vehicles could be exploited to spy on Americans.

For full text of the article, visit Seattle mayor ends police drone efforts.

 

Eyes in the sky: Remote sensing in the service of human rights

by Jonathan Drake and Eric Ashcroft, Physics today, Feb 1, 2013

If scientific endeavor has a purpose beyond the accumulation of knowledge for its own sake, it must be for the progress and betterment of humanity. Despite the incredible scientific developments that have defined the modern era, however, the ability of science to solve humankind’s most enduring problems remains elusive. Nowhere is that more apparent than in conflict-torn regions where weapons technologies, with their roots in scientific discovery, are exploited with lethal effectiveness.While technology’s power to exacerbate violence in that way is well established, its role in mitigating hostilities has often been considerably less visible. Recently, however, new natural science technologies have made it possible to take a more active role in conflict reduction and the promotion of universal human rights. One of the most powerful of those technologies is satellite imagery.

For full text of the article, visit Eyes in the sky: Remote sensing in the service of human rights | Points of View – Physics Today.

New NRC Report: Future U.S. Workforce for Geospatial Intelligence

Mapping Sciences Committee, National Research Council Preview Report Release, Jan 2013

Authors:
Committee on the Future U.S. Workforce for Geospatial Intelligence; Board on Earth Sciences and Resources; Board on Higher Education and Workforce; Division on Earth and Life Studies; National Research Council

Abstract: We live in a changing world with multiple and evolving threats to national security, including terrorism, asymmetrical warfare (conflicts between agents with different military powers or tactics), and social unrest. Visually depicting and assessing these threats using imagery and other geographically-referenced information is the mission of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). As the nature of the threat evolves, so do the tools, knowledge, and skills needed to respond. The challenge for NGA is to maintain a workforce that can deal with evolving threats to national security, ongoing scientific and technological advances, and changing skills and expectations of workers.

Future U.S. Workforce for Geospatial Intelligence assesses the supply of expertise in 10 geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) fields, including 5 traditional areas (geodesy and geophysics, photogrammetry, remote sensing, cartographic science, and geographic information systems and geospatial analysis) and 5 emerging areas that could improve geospatial intelligence (GEOINT fusion, crowdsourcing, human geography, visual analytics, and forecasting). The report also identifies gaps in expertise relative to NGA’s needs and suggests ways to ensure an adequate supply of geospatial intelligence expertise over the next 20 years.

To download a PDF copy of the report, visit Future U.S. Workforce for Geospatial Intelligence.

Drone Programs Sparks Budgetary and Privacy Concerns

By Steve Aftergood, Secrecy News, January 31, 2013

The development of unmanned aerial systems (or drones) for military and civilian applications appears to be accelerating faster than the normal policy process can adapt to it.  Aside from festering doubts about the legality, propriety and wisdom of their routine use in targeted killing operations, drone programs are beset by budgetary confusion, and a host of privacy and other legal problems are poised to emerge with the expanded use of drones in domestic airspace. … Meanwhile, “Perhaps the most contentious issue concerning the introduction of drones into U.S. airspace is the threat that this technology will be used to spy on American citizens,” said a new report from the Congressional Research Service.

For full text of the article visit Secrecy News here.

A copy of the CRS report was obtained by Secrecy News.  See Integration of Drones into Domestic Airspace: Selected Legal Issues, January 30, 2013.

See also Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS): Manufacturing Trends, January 30, 2013.

Additional resources on drone policy issues are available from the Electronic Privacy Information Center here.

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