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.
- Seattle mayor ends police drone efforts (seattletimes.com)
- 5 Homeland Security Bots Coming To Spy on You (If They Aren’t Already) (Wired.com)
Mapping Sciences Committee, National Research Council Preview Report Release, Jan 2013
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.
- National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates – Geospatial Research and Mapping (GRAM) – Application Deadline March 1st 2013 (gisandscience.com)
- GAO Says OMB and Feds Need to Make Coordination a Priority (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
- Possibility and Probability in Geospatial Information Visualization (dhs.stanford.edu)
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2008, Issue No. 109
November 10, 2008
Secrecy News Blog: http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/
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COMMERCIAL SATELLITE IMAGERY SHEDS LIGHT HERE AND THERE
As the quality and availability of commercial satellite imagery continue to improve, the technology is adding a new dimension to public understanding of world events, while both enhancing and challenging national and global security.
“Last month, the most powerful commercial satellite in history sent its first pictures back to Earth, and another with similar capabilities is set for launch in mid-2009,” wrote Peter Eisler in USA Today last week. “The imagery provided by those and other commercial satellites has transformed global security in fundamental ways, forcing even the most powerful nations to hide facilities and activities that are visible not only to rival nations, but even to their own citizens.” See “Google Earth helps yet worries government,” November 7.
Iraqi insurgents, among other non-state actors, have also taken advantage of the new capabilities offered by satellite imagery. A 2006 dispatch prepared by the DNI Open Source Center (first reported by USA Today) documented “the use of Google Earth for tactical planning of rocket attacks against U.S. military targets in Iraq.” See “Iraqi Insurgency Group Utilizes Google Earth for Attack Planning,” July 19, 2006.
A newly disclosed GeoEye commercial satellite image of the site of a suspected Syrian nuclear facility at Al Kibar that was taken on November 23, 2007, some two months after it was bombed by Israel on September 6, 2007, shows rather rapid reconstruction of the destroyed facility.
“I’d say it confirms that the Syrians were in a really big hurry to get the site covered up,” said Allen Thomson, a former CIA analyst who has studied the case. “The previously available DigitalGlobe picture of 24 October 2007 showed only a mound of dirt. By a month later (the GeoEye pic), what appears to be a thick slab (you can see that it casts a shadow) was in place. And January 11 imagery shows the new building up and the roof in place.”
The new image was released last week courtesy of GeoEye / Space Imaging Middle East. It appears on page 1170 of an extensive open source compilation (large pdf) on the Israeli Strike in Syria prepared by Mr. Thomson.