Citation Edit


Office of Technology Assessment, Commercial Newsgathering From Space-A Technical Memorandum (OTA-TM-ISC-40) (May 1987) (full-text).

Overview Edit

This technical memorandum concluded that although the satellite technology was available to create a remote sensing systems dedicated to newsgathering (mediasat), the high cost and current low demand for remotely sensed data would limit media efforts to own and operate a dedicated remote sensing satellite system.

Nonetheless, the memorandum states that government and commercial remote sensing activities will continue in the United States and in other countries. These activities will provide the media with an increasing variety of sophisticated and relatively inexpensive remotely sensed images. As the media's use of such images increases, conflicts are certain to arise between the media's first amendment rights and certain U.S. national security and foreign policy interests.

OTA concluded that such conflicts are ultimately manageable, but that the existence of foreign remote sensing systems (which can only be indirectly affected by U.S. laws) may require some international consultation.

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