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(Mar 02, 2008) On November 23, 2007, Germany promulgated the Act Protecting Against the Endangerment of German Security Through the Proliferation of High Resolution Aerial Imagery of the Earth (Satellitendatensicherheitsgesetz, BUNDESGESETZBLATT I at 2590). The entire Act became effective by December 1, 2007. The Act allows the German authorities to restrict the proliferation of high-resolution satellite imagery if such imagery could endanger the security of Germany or its allies. Such danger could arise, for instance, from providing images of strategically important areas that could be used for the targeting of weapons. In addition, the Act provides an overall regulatory framework for the commercial and scholarly distribution of satellite imagery (Gesetzesentwurf, Mar. 3, 2007, BUNDESTAG DRUCKSACHE 16/4763).

In June 2007, Terrasar X, a German earth observation satellite, commenced operations under the auspices of a German public-private partnership. The satellite is used for commercial and scientific applications. The satellite is in part based on U.S. technology, and its use therefore has to comply with U.S. security interests. The new German law intends to protect these interests by requiring distributors and users of satellite imagery to screen requested or obtained data for security aspects, and in cases of doubt, to ask for permission from the German authorities. (Offener Himmel, FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG, Sept. 5, 2007, at N1.)

Author: Edith Palmer More by this author
Topic: Communications More on this topic
Jurisdiction: Germany More about this jurisdiction

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Last updated: 03/02/2008