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Key members of Congress urged the Homeland Security Department to indefinitely postpone the launch of a controversial project to provide military spy satellite pictures and data to domestic homeland security and law enforcement agencies, citing the civil-liberties risks the project entails.
DHS’ newly created National Applications Office (NAO) planned to start the program in October.
The department framed a procedure for shunting geospatial data from Defense Deparatment satellites to homeland security agencies to monitor counterterrorism and civil-safety matters, officials said.
Security official defends satellite surveillance plan
The committee's chairman, Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and others were outraged that they had not been told about the project before its existence was reported in the media.
Kropf indicated that the agency's 19-member privacy panel was kept in the dark until now. "You may have read about this in the paper," he told committee before briefly describing the plan. No members pressed him for additional details.
U.S. Postpones Domestic Spy Satellite Program
WASHINGTON, Oct. 1 (AP) — A program to employ spy satellites for certain domestic uses has been postponed because of privacy concerns.