Commercial Imagery (Spy) Satellite, Business Opportunity or Security Threat?

ARTICLES | Aug 10, 2022
Commercial Imagery (Spy) Satellite, Business Opportunity or Security Threat?

The space race started satellite network data operations in 1955. Today, even individuals use GPS. But business and the military are still the biggest market.

 

Countries still uses satellite networks to track crime or spy on rival nations. But profit is now a big factor. Space technology, especially satellite image databases, usually updated every 24-48 hours, has become tradable. This includes accessing a database of saved images or issuing a set of commands to track specific targets. It’s now possible to ​​snoop on an organization's supply chain to make informed investment decisions.

 

Such technology can help corporate investment and inform decisions such buying shares in small companies based on route data. But companies may be losing trade secrets, which is a serious issue.

 

Commercial and military satellites are also increasingly connected. Many governments choose to use private satellite companies. Businesses can store photographic data within the country but the government will have the right to access those databases too. At the start of 2022, for example, the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), which is affiliated with the United States, signed a contract that allows 3 commercial satellite imaging companies, Maxar, Planet and BlackSky, to capture images for 5 to 10 years (if renewed after the first 5 years). The US thereby gained access to satellite imagery databases and timely geo-int data solutions without any investment by itself, in line with the concept “Buy what we have to buy and build what we have to build.” Similar incidents have occurred in several European countries who want to monitor the movement and impact of the Ukrainian-Russian war. Ukraine has asked private companies to help monitor Russian troops. Russia is trying to hack those satellite networks and retaliate against hostile hackers. There have also been reports of several governments attempting to use communications satellites in combination with imaging satellites to track behavior, violating the privacy of political activists.

 

 

Implications for the future:

- If the public has access to a real-time terrestrial satellite image database, wireless network disconnection and cybersecurity businesses and services will become another growing industry to protect trade secrets and data.

- Coverage and clarity of government policymaking, law enforcement, military, space technology, and international law on satellite network business should be reviewed to prevent potential international threats.

- The global public's data privacy priority will be one of the key factors in setting objectives and ethical standards in the satellite business.

 

 

Reference:

- https://techcrunch.com/2022/05/25/spy-agency-pumps-billions-into-orbital-imagery-companies-blacksky-maxar-and-planet/?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAKCacCN92FFZ0KNz8rr47OY3KpLWck4dktEK9lP5n0RWIZZCAWgriWUr4ZsYS5s3svgfWc-mFbsj3o9osiXM7KyqvZL33oNWEentrlKkPYZqbdF25qR1HFOzLH_9Tpe2uTJTJheAHigqgmXDxBfMfiKEotllryH5ik_yGppg2YXW

- https://www.blacksky.com/

- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X02g3AWIWPw

- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KI5-ZPdnkyE

- https://www.bostonglobe.com/2022/04/21/business/how-commercial-spy-satellites-are-changing-war/

- https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/05/25/spy-satellite-nro-contracts/

- https://www.dw.com/en/modern-spy-satellites-in-an-age-of-space-wars/a-54691887

- https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/no-surprise-spying-space-good-thing

- https://atalayar.com/en/content/spy-satellites-which-united-states-germany-france-italy-and-spain-are-contemplating

- https://atalayar.com/en/content/spy-satellites-which-united-states-germany-france-italy-and-spain-are-contemplating

 

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