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Category Archives: Uncategorized

Library: A Round-up of Reading

Space Law
2013 National Space Transportation Policy Released – NASA Watch

Philanthropy and Crowdfunding Aren’t Enough to Send People to Mars – Motherboard

Democratization of Space – KickSat – DIY Space Exploration

New national space transportation policy makes modest, not major, changes – Space Politics

Reaction to the new national space transportation policy: positive, but bland – Space Politics

Senator asks for another study on use of Russian engines – Space Politics



Mystery of NASA Commercial Crew chief’s departure is solved: he is in trouble with the law – Hyperbola

IAC 2013 Beijing: Space Policy and Law – Spaceports

New Space Launch Policy Emphasizes Competition – Space News

A Milestone in Space Governance – Space News

U.S. Intellectual Property Rules Hinder Space Station Research – Space News

Aviation Law
Airline Mergers Seriously Impacting Prices and Services – Aviation and Airport Development Law Blog

Arming TSA – Ask the Pilot

Unhappy about Airborne Cell Phones? Don’t Call the FCC. – CommLawBlog

Domestic Drones are Coming; Will Privacy be Factored In? – CDT


News Flash: Airlines Discover Wireless Profit Center; Forget About Harm to Cockpit Communications – TeleFrieden

The FAA’s Drone Privacy Plan: Actually Pretty Sensible – TAP

Geospatial Law
Apps on Maps: LPFM Application Information Now Available on Google Earth Maps – CommLawBlog

Using Google Earth for crime (and for preventing it) – Google Earth Blog

Cyber and the NDAA – Lawfare

All Your Internet Are Belong To Iceland* – Export Law Blog

The Foreign Policy Essay: Erik Gartzke on “Fear and War in Cyberspace” – Lawfare

Library: A Round-up of Reading

Space Law
Active Debris Removal: A Necessary Evil – Space Safety Magazine

DLR delivers satellite images for Indian flood assistance – DLR

With Chinese Option Blocked by ITAR, European-built Sat To Fly on Falcon 9 – Space News

Will the Polar Communications and Weather Mission (PCW) Receive New Funding? – Commercial Space

ULA Troubles Continue – NASA Watch

Does the Government Need A Warrant to Attach A GPS Device to A Government Employee’s Car To Monitor Workplace Misconduct? – The Volokh Conspiracy

Science and Technology Issues in the 113th Congress – CRS

Fact Sheet on Radio Frequency Spectrum and Satellites – SWF

Report from the Symposium on Legal and Policy Aspects of Space Cooperation Between Europe and BRICS Countries – SWF

Look Back: International Space Law – Kansas City World Citizen

Differences in FAA/AST funding presage NASA funding battle – Space Politics

FAA Commercial Space Office Fares Much Better in Senate, House Cut Would be “Crippling” – Space Policy Online

New ITAR Rules Could Hurt Private Manned Spaceflight Industry – NASA Watch

SWF Publishes Three Updated Fact Sheets on Space Sustainability Initiatives – SWF

Aviation Law
Sorry, but Delta Is Not Flying Direct to Tehran – FP Passport

Geospatial Law
UK Orders Google to Delete Last of Street View Wi-Fi Data – IEEE Spectrum

Space Station Camera Captures Flooding in Calgary – SpaceRef

Here’s everything we’ve learned about how the NSA’s secret programs work – Washington Post

NSA Factsheets Taken Down—For Reasons of Accuracy – Lawfare

What Is Personally Identifiable Information (PII)? Finding Common Ground in the EU and US – Concurring Opinions

The U.S. Senate Wants to Control Malware Like It’s a Missile – Killer Aps

“NSA Surveillance Leaks: Fact and Fiction” – The Volokh Conspiracy

Senators’ Letter to DNI Clapper on NSA Surveillance – Lawfare

George R. Lucas, Privacy, Anonymity, and Cyber Security, Amsterdam Law Forum Vol. 5, no. 2 (Spring 2013)

Expert slams Congress over ban on U.S.-China space cooperation

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Source – Space Daily:

Expert slams Congress over ban on U.S.-China space cooperation
by Staff Writers
Washington (UPI) Jun 11, 2013

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only
A U.S. expert says the U.S. Congress should adopt a “more constructive set of policies” that encourages rather than bans U.S.-Chinese collaboration in space.

Gregory Kulacki, senior analyst and China project manager for the Global Security Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, criticized Congress for barring NASA from participating in any partnership or collaboration with China . . . [Full Story]

Protecting Space for Future Generations is in the Vital Interests of the Global Community

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Source – United States Mission to the United Nations:

Protecting Space for Future Generations is in the Vital Interests of the Global Community

Space Security Conference 2013:
Panel on “Space Security Threats: Exploring Current Vulnerabilities in Outer Space”
United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research

Remarks of Frank A. Rose,
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Space and Defense Policy.

April 2, 2013


Thank you, Theresa Hitchens, for your kind introduction. It is a pleasure to be participating with these distinguished speakers and attendees at this UNIDIR space security conference in Geneva. This is my third year of participating in this annual conference, and I welcome the opportunity to explore and discuss this year’s topic, “enhancing confidence, securing space stability.”

In my talk today, I’d like to focus on the following three topics:

• The importance of space capabilities in today’s world
• The challenges created by an increasingly congested and contested space environment
• Opportunities for international cooperation to respond to these challenges

The Importance of Space Capabilities

For over five and a half decades, nations around the globe have derived increasing benefits from the peaceful use of outer space. Satellites contribute to increased transparency and stability among nations and provide a vital communications path for avoiding potential conflicts. The utilization of space has helped save lives by improving our warning of natural disasters and making recovery efforts faster and more effective. Space systems have created new markets and new tools to monitor climate change and support sustainable development. In short, space systems allow people and governments around the world to see with clarity, communicate with certainty, navigate with accuracy, and operate with assurance.

As one of many examples of how satellites contribute to maintaining international peace and security, it is worth recalling that this year marks the fiftieth anniversary of both the Limited Test Ban Treaty and the launch of the first nuclear detonation detection (NUDET) satellites, called “Vela.” The first two U.S. Vela satellites were launched on October 16, 1963, six days after the “Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space and Under Water” went into effect. These and other Vela satellites successfully monitored compliance with the Treaty and provided scientific data on natural sources of space radiation for over two decades.

Today, NUDET sensors on Global Positioning System (GPS) and other spacecraft provide a worldwide, highly durable capability to detect, locate, and report any nuclear detonations in the earth’s atmosphere or in near space in near-real time – contributing to crisis stability as well as to treaty monitoring.

Threats to Space Services

As more nations and non-state actors recognize these benefits and seek their own space or counterspace capabilities, we are faced with new challenges in the space domain.

Now there are approximately sixty nations and government consortia that own and operate satellites, in addition to numerous commercial and academic satellite operators. This increasing use — coupled with space debris resulting from past launches, space operations, orbital accidents, and testing of destructive ASATs which generated long-lived debris – has resulting in increased orbital congestion, complicating space operations for all those that seek to benefit from space. Another area of increasing congestion is the radiofrequency spectrum. As the demand for bandwidth increases and more transponders are placed in service, the greater the probability of radiofrequency interference and the strains on international processes to minimize that interference.

In addition to the challenges resulting from space debris and radiofrequency interference, space is also becoming increasingly contested. From the U.S. perspective, concerns about threats were recently noted in an assessment issued last month by James Clapper, the U.S. Director of National Intelligence.

“Space systems and their supporting infrastructures enable a wide range of services, including communication; position, navigation, and timing; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; and meteorology, which provide vital national, military, civil, scientific, and economic benefits. Other nations recognize these benefits to the United States and seek to counter the US strategic advantage by pursuing capabilities to deny or destroy our access to space services. Threats to vital US space services will increase during the next decade as disruptive and destructive counterspace capabilities are developed.”

Responding through International Cooperation

In response to these challenges, the United States continues to be guided by the principles and goals of the National Space Policy that was signed by President Obama in June 2010. The policy places increased emphasis on international cooperation to deal with the challenges of the 21st Century.

To address the hazards of an increasingly congested space environment, the United States has expanded efforts to share space situational awareness services, including notifications to government and commercial satellite operators of close approaches that could result in satellite collisions. These and other “best practices” can form the basis for the development of a set of guidelines for the long-term sustainability of space activities. Long-term sustainability of space activities is a topic being addressed by a working group of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, which will be discussed in greater detail by Dr. Peter Martinez, the working group chair, later today.

To address threats to space activities in the increasingly contested space environment, the United States continues to pursue a range of measures to strengthen stability in space. In doing so, we expect to increase the security and resilience of space capabilities, continue to conduct Space Security Dialogues with our friends and partners, and pursue transparency and confidence building measures, or TCBMs.

First, the United States will pursue efforts to increase assurance and resilience of mission-essential functions against disruption, degradation, and destruction. These efforts include expanded cooperation with the private sector, allies, and partners around the globe to maintain continuity of services, including efforts to enhance the security and resilience of space networks and supporting ground infrastructures. Related efforts seek to improve domestic and international coordination of responses to purposeful interference — which the United States considers an infringement of a nation’s rights.

Specific examples include discussions in trans-Atlantic fora, including the U.S.-European Union space security dialogue that I lead. They also include efforts by government and commercial satellite operators to improve information sharing for spaceflight safety and geolocation of intentional satellite communications uplink jamming, topics that will be addressed in greater detail in later sessions of this conference.

Second, the United States is pursuing bilateral Space Security Dialogues with traditional partners as well as with other established and emerging space-faring nations as part of its pursuit of TCBMs. The United States believes TCBMs should be pragmatic, voluntary, near-term actions that aim to increase trust and prevent misperceptions, miscalculations, and mistrust between nations. To overcome these dangers and risks requires, in part, building confidence between nations. This can be achieved with transparency, openness, and predictability through, for example, information-sharing.

In that vein, our Space Security Dialogues provide an opportunity for constructive exchanges on emerging threats to shared space interests, national security space policies and doctrine, and opportunities for further bilateral cooperation. In addition to the direct outcomes from these dialogues, bilateral exchanges themselves serve as important TCBMs which can be considered for adoption and implementation at a multilateral level. Given the complex and interrelated nature of space activities, the willingness of partners to engage in serious and substantive discussions in “whole of government” dialogues is what economists call a “leading indicator” of their commitment to multilateral discussions of space security.

With regard to the third area – multilateral TCBMs — you will be hearing later today from Ambassador Jacek Bylica and Victor Vasiliev on two of the most important efforts — an International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities, or “Code,” and the UN Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) study of outer space TCBMs. While I will defer to them for specific details on these efforts, I will note that the United States is a strong supporter of both activities, as well as other multilateral efforts in specific regions – such as a workshop on space security that commenced last December within the framework of the ASEAN Regional Forum.

In January 2012, then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced the U.S. decision to work with the European Union (EU) and other space-faring nations to develop an International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities. In announcing this decision, the United States noted that “[a] Code of Conduct will help maintain the long-term sustainability, safety, stability, and security of space by establishing guidelines for the responsible use of space.”

As you will hear later today from Ambassador Bylica, the European Union is leading efforts to develop a text that would be open to participation by all States on a voluntary basis. The United States believes the EU’s latest draft is a useful foundation and constructive starting point for developing a consensus on an International Code. We look forward to participating in the open-ended consultative meeting that the EU and Ukraine will be convening in Kiev next month. These consultations, to which all UN member states will be invited, will provide an opportunity to address all elements of the draft Code. Along with our partners in the EU, the United States’ aim remains to find agreement on a text that is acceptable to all interested States and that can produce effective security benefits in a relatively short time.

Another multilateral effort to pursue TCBMs is the study by the UN Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on Outer Space TCBMs, on which I am privileged to serve as the United States Expert. Under the capable chairmanship of our distinguished colleague Victor Vasiliev of Russia, the GGE offers an opportunity to advance a range of voluntary and non-legally binding TCBMs in space that have the potential to mitigate dangers and risks to space security.

The GGE intends to develop a consensus report to the UN Secretary General that outlines a list of voluntary and pragmatic space TCBMs that States could adopt on a unilateral, bilateral, or multilateral basis. As part of its effort to draw upon as much expertise as possible, the GGE has welcomed written contributions from intergovernmental bodies, industry and private sector, civil society, and other UN Member States not already represented in the GGE. We believe the GGE serves as a real opportunity to move forward with pragmatic steps to strengthen stability in space.


In summary, the United States takes seriously the challenges of an increasingly congested and contested space environment and is pursuing a range of measures to increase assurance and resilience mission-essential functions and to strengthen stability in space, including through cooperation with the full range of space-faring nations. We are increasingly reliant on space, not only when disasters strike, but also for our day-to-day life. However, our ability to continue to use space for these benefits is at serious risk. Accidents or irresponsible acts against space systems would not only harm the space environment, but would also disrupt services on which the international community depends. As a result, we must take action now and pursue TCBMs in space, including the ones that I discussed today. These TCBMs will enhance the long-term sustainability, stability, safety, and security of the space environment. Protecting the space environment for future generations is in the vital interests of the entire global community.

State Department: U.S.-India Space Cooperation

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Source – U.S. State Department:

U.S.-India Space Cooperation

Geoffrey Pyatt
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs
U.S.-India Civil Space Joint Working Group
Washington, DC
March 21, 2013

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Good morning everyone. It’s an enormous privilege to welcome Administrator Bolden, Ambassador Rao, the Indian delegation, and our colleagues from the Indian Embassy, NASA, NOAA, and the State Department here in Washington to this Joint Working Group.

The United States and India are leaders in earth observation. We’re excited to see how this working group can build on joint activities using U.S. and Indian earth observation satellites to better understand earth systems and provide information to improve economies and lives.

We also should seek to increase our commercial space cooperation and create opportunities for U.S. and Indian companies.

And our very capable space science communities have much to offer each other through collaboration. India’s first Indian Mars Orbiter Mission, slated for October 2013, is an exciting opportunity for U.S.-India collaboration.

Being here at this working group this morning is a particular pleasure for me, as I’ve been working for many years on helping make this sort of cooperation possible. Thanks to visionary, bipartisan U.S. and Indian leadership, we’ve recognized how much we have to offer each other and have made great strides in the past decade in bringing our scientific and technical communities together.

The hard work on both sides in transforming our interactions with each other has allowed successes such as including U.S. instruments on India’s Chandrayaan-1 lunar mission — a path-finding step to show our two systems how to work together, as well as a fruitful scientific endeavor pointing out the promise of this cooperation. More recently, the removal of ISRO subordinate entities from the Entity List at the 2011 Civil Space Joint Working Group meeting and additional measures taken since have further expanded the possibilities for trade and cooperation in civil space.

In January, President Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act, which includes satellite export reform measures expected to expedite trade in space technology.

U.S.-India science and technology builds on a relationship that is robust and vibrant. The U.S.-India Science and Technology Endowment Fund, established in 2009 and with an annual budget of $2 to $3 million, is a landmark in our belief to work together to promote commercialization of innovative technologies.

This collaboration on innovation across a wide range of disciplines is generating new jobs for our people and helping to address many of the globe’s big challenges.

Our space cooperation has become a signature aspect of this science, technology, and innovation cooperation, highlighting both the constancy of our mutual respect and appreciation for each others’ capabilities through the decades, as well as the vast potential – dare I say universal? — opened up by the changes in our relationship.

I congratulate all of you – the experts and practitioners from both our countries – for your participation in building closer ties in space exploration, space science, earth observation, and launch and ensuring the safety and security of outer space activities. I know your efforts this week will further the cooperation that expands our collective knowledge, brings practical benefits to our citizens, and helps us plan for our future. I wish you all the best in this meeting of the Civil Space Joint Working Group.

New Mexico Spaceport informed consent bill passes Senate

Source: Albuquerque Business First


Dan Mayfield, Reporter-
On Wednesday morning, the “informed consent bill” regarding Spaceport America passed the New Mexico Senate unanimously.  The vote was 34-0, said Virgin Galactic spokesman Tom Carroll.  More…

Legislative Materials


TSA Ending Use of Backscatter Units

Source – TSA Blog:

Rapiscan Backscatter Contract Terminated – Units to be Removed

You may remember us blogging about new privacy software we rolled out for the L3 Millimeter Wave body scanners. It’s called Automated Target Recognition (ATR), and with the use of this software, our officers no longer see an image of the person being screened. This is what our officers see if the passenger alarms:

ATR Monitor
ATR Monitor After Alarm
You can read more about the ATR software here.

Congress mandated as a part of the The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 that all TSA body scanners should be equipped with ATR by June 1, 2012 (There has since been an extension to June 1, 2013).

At this point, all Millimeter wave units have been equipped with ATR, but even with the extension to 2013, Rapiscan was unable to fulfill their end of the contract and create the ATR software that would work with backscatter units. As a result, TSA terminated the contract with Rapiscan in order to comply with the congressional mandate.

All Rapiscan AIT units currently operational at checkpoints around the country, as well as those stored at the TSA Logistics Center, will be removed by Rapiscan at their expense and stored until they can be redeployed to other mission priorities within the government. Most of the backscatter units being removed will be replaced with millimeter wave units. The millimeter units will be moved from the inventory currently deployed at other airports and from an upcoming purchase of additional millimeter wave units.

By June 1, 2013 travelers will only see machines which have ATR that allow for faster throughput. This means faster lanes for the traveler and enhanced security.

As always, use of this technology is optional.

More at:
TSA Pulls Plug on Airport Nude Body Scanners – Threat Level

TSA Body Scanners – Lawfare

Event: 17th ISU Annual International Symposium

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Source – ISU:

17th ISU Annual International Symposium

ISU Central Campus, Strasbourg

5th – 7th March 2013



ISU’s next symposium, the seventeenth in a series, will address ‘Tele-reach’ where we use this term to refer to technologies and applications which allow remote presence, participation, interaction or control. The emphasis here will be placed on exploring the role that space can play in broadening and sustaining the ‘reach’ of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) systems to benefit humankind in areas such as education, healthcare and environmental management. Looking beyond the socio-economic benefits here on Earth we will widen the scope to include fields such as tele-presence and tele-operation of remote equipment both on Earth and in space.

Six half-day sessions, all held in plenary, will address:

Symposium17Tues. 5th March:

1. Tele-Reach Needs, Current Provisions and Future Plans

2. Tele-Education

Wed. 6th March:

3. Tele-Health

4. Tele-Reach and the Environment

Thurs. 7th March:

5. Other Applications of Tele-Reach on Earth and in Orbit

6. Political, Economic, Legal and Ethical Challenges

At the end of each session a Panel Discussion will provide further opportunities for questions and for interactions by participants. A Poster Session will be held on the first evening in conjunction with the Symposium Reception and posters will then be displayed prominently throughout the following two days.