Monday, August 19th, 2019

U.S. Defense Contractor to Blanket Earth With New Surveillance Technology

Published on July 18, 2016 by   ·   No Comments

global surveillance

 Nicholas West

Google has received vast criticism for its Google Earth, Google Maps andGoogle Streetview systems that have essentially removed the inherent right to privacy and transferred it to the whim of corporate terms and conditions. However, this would seem to pale in comparison to what is being announced from the largest U.S. defense contractor, Lockheed Martin, working in tandem with commercial space imagery vendor, DigitalGlobe.

According to Lockheed, they are making final preparations for a next-generation global imaging satellite called DigitalGlobe WorldView-4. If all remains according to plan, the new satellite will be launched into orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base as early as September 15, 2016.

While Google rightly takes heat for its government connections, publicly traded DigitalGlobe’s relationship to the U.S. government is about as fascistic as could ever be constructed.  As The Denver Post reported in 2014, DigitalGlobe successfully petitioned the U.S. government to remove previous restrictions on the sale of higher-resolution images to non-government buyers thus opening up new domestic and international commercial applications. The previous generation of this satellite, WorldView-3 at the time, contained an alarming level of accuracy:

WorldView-3 can produce 31-centimeter-resolution images, and several of its already-orbiting satellites already can capture 41-centimeter images. But DigitalGlobe was prohibited, until Wednesday, from selling anything sharper than 50-centimeter resolution to non-U.S. government customers.

The 31-centimeter resolution images allow viewers to discern, for example, the windshield of a car and the direction the car is facing.

….offers short-wave infrared resolution that sees through dust, smog and smoke as well as things on Earth invisible to the naked eye.

DigitalGlobe executives toldThe Denver Post last month that its new sensors allow them to see minerals, identify tree and plant species and gather soil composition. When analyzed, this information can decipher what’s beneath the surface — insight that can then be sold to industries including mining or oil and gas exploration.

The Post goes on to reveal the key reason why such a lenient permission might have been granted: the largest customer of DigitalGlobe is the U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, also known as GEOINT. The incredible scope and applications of GEOINT is laid out on the .mil website’s About page – keep in mind the revolving door between military and private companies across the planet, and the choice to offer selective image sales becomes even more troubling.

Read More HERE

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