Protection, Propaganda or Profit? An Analysis of Commercial Satellite Imaging in Wartime [open pdf - 249KB]
In order to protect national security, the U.S. government includes a clause in every license that retains the ability to restrict operations of the satellite for reasons of national security. This is commonly known as "shutter control". The goal of this paper is to analyze the "shutter control" issue and the decision making process which led to the government purchase of IKONOS imagery. What were the competing interests with respect to commercial imagery regulation? Was the decision part of an interagency process? What are the government's objectives with respect to the purchases? And what are the precedents and implications these new de facto policies set forward?