President's National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee: Satellite Taskforce Report, Fact Sheet [February 2004]   [open pdf - 133KB]

This fact sheet from the President's National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee discusses the issues surrounding infrastructure protection for commercial satellite communications (SATCOM systems. "In January 2003, the Director, National Security Space Architect, requested that the President's National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC) consider embarking on a study of infrastructure protection measures for commercial satellite communication (SATCOM) systems. The NSTAC established the Satellite Task Force (STF) to review and assess policies, practices, and procedures for the application of infrastructure protection measures to commercial SATCOM networks used for national security and emergency preparedness (NS/EP) communications. Specifically, the STF was established to (1) review applicable documentation addressing vulnerabilities in the commercial satellite infrastructure, (2) identify potential policy changes that would bring the infrastructure into conformance with a standard for mitigating those vulnerabilities, (3) consider Global Positioning System (GPS) timing capabilities during the deliberations, (4) coordinate this response with representatives from the National Communications System (NCS) and others, and (5) draft a task force report with findings and recommendations. The STF engaged broad and active participation from representatives of NSTAC member companies, non-NSTAC commercial satellite owners and operators, commercial satellite trade associations, Government agencies, and technical experts. The task force examined all types of commercial SATCOM systems, including Fixed Satellite Service, Broadcast Satellite Service, Mobile Satellite Service, and Satellite Digital Audio Radio Service. To gain a broad understanding of vulnerabilities, the STF compared the difficulty of potential threats against the degree of susceptibility of key elements in these services, including the radio frequency links, ground segment, cyber segment, and space segment."

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National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC): http://www.ncs.gov/nstac/
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