The reference for the last post is:
THE SHOCKING MENACE OF SATELLITE SURVEILLANCE by John Fleming in 2001
The World Satellite Directory, 14th edition (1992), lists about a thousand companies concerned with satellites in one way or another. Many are merely
in the broadcasting business, but there are also product headings like “remote sensing imagery,” which includes Earth Observation Satellite Co. of
Lanham, Maryland, Downl Inc. of Denver, and Spot Image Corp. of Reston, Virginia. There are five product categories referring to transponders.
Other product categories include earth stations (14 types), “military products and systems,” “microwave equipment,” “video processors,”
“spectrum analyzers.” The category “remote sensors” lists eight companies, including ITM Systems Inc., in Grants Pass, Oregon, Yool
Engineering of Phoenix, and Satellite Technology Management of Costa Mesa, California. Sixty-five satellite associations are listed from all around
the world, such as Aerospace Industries Association, American Astronautical Society, Amsat and several others in the U.S.
Spy satellites were already functioning and violating people’s right to privacy when President Reagan proposed his “Strategic Defense
Initiative,” or Star Wars, in the early 80s, long after the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 had demonstrated the military usefulness of satellites.
Star Wars was supposed to shield the U.S. from nuclear missiles, but shooting down missiles with satellite lasers proved infeasible, and many
scientists and politicians criticized the massive program.
Nevertheless, Star Wars gave an enormous boost to surveillance technology and to what may be called “black bag” technology, such as mind reading
and lasers that can assault someone, even someone indoors. Aviation Week & Space Technology mentioned in 1984 that “facets of the project [in the
Star Wars program] that are being hurried along include the awarding of contracts to study...a surveillance satellite network.”
It was bound to be abused, yet no group is fighting to cut back or subject to democratic control this terrifying new technology. As one diplomat to
the U.N. remarked, “‘Star Wars’ was not a means of creating heaven on earth, but it could result in hell on earth.”
The typical American actually may have little to fear, since the chances of being subjected to satellite surveillance are rather remote. Why someone
would want to subject someone else to satellite surveillance might seem unclear at first, but to answer the question you must realize that only the
elite have access to such satellite resources.
Only the rich and powerful could even begin to contemplate putting someone under satellite surveillance, whereas a middle- or working-class person
would not even know where to begin. Although access to surveillance capability is thus largely a function of the willfulness of the powerful,
nevertheless we should not conclude that only the powerless are subjected to it.
Perhaps those under satellite surveillance are mainly the powerless, but wealthy and famous people make more interesting targets, as it were, so
despite their power to resist an outrageous violation of their privacy, a few of them may be victims of satellite surveillance. Princess Diana may
have been under satellite reconnaissance. No claim of being subject to satellite surveillance can be dismissed a priori.