Remote sensing from space provides scientific,
industrial, civil governmental, military and individual users
with the capacity to gather data for a variety of useful
purposes. The Us Government operates very high resolution space-
based reconnaissance systems for intelligence and military
purposes. These systems are among the most valuable Us national
security assets because of their high quality data collection,
timeliness, and coverage and the capability they provide to
monitor events around the world on a near real-time basis. More
nations have discovered the value of these satellites and are
developing their own indigenous capabilities, or are seeking the
purchase of data or systems.

Policy Goal

The fundamental goal of our policy is to support and to
enhance Us industrial competitiveness in the field of remote
sensing space capabilities while at the same time protecting Us
national security and foreign policy interests. Success in this
endeavor will contribute to maintaining our critical industrial
base, advancing Us technology, creating economic opportunities,
strengthening the Us balance of payments, enhancing national
influence, and promoting regional stability.

Scope of Policy

The policy covers foreign access to remote sensing space
systems, technology, products, and data. With respect to
commercial licenses, this would
include operating licenses granted under the Land Remote Sensing
Policy Act of 1992 and export licenses for certain items
controlled on the Us Munitions List (Usml). While the policy
will define certain restrictions for export of items on the Usml,
export of items on either the Usml or the Commerce Control List
(Ccl) would continue to be licensed in accord with existing law
and regulations.

Licensing and Operation of Private Remote Sensing Systems

License requests by Us firms to operate private remote
sensing space systems will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis in
accordance with the Land Remote Sensing Policy Act of 1992 (the
Act). There is a presumption that remote sensing space systems
whose performance capabilities and imagery quality
characteristics are available or are planned for availability in
the world marketplace (e.g., Spot, Landsat, etc.) will be
favorably considered, and that the following conditions will
apply to any Us entity that receives an operating license under
the Act.

    1. The licensee will be required to maintain a record of
    all satellite tasking for the previous year and to
    allow the Usg access to this record.

    2. The licensee will not change the operational
    characteristics of the satellite system from the
    application as submitted without formal notification
    and approval of the Department of Commerce, which would
    coordinate with other interested agencies.

    3. The license being granted does not relieve the licensee
    of the obligation to obtain export license(s) pursuant
    to applicable statutes.

    4. The license is valid only for a finite period, and is
    neither transferable nor subject to foreign ownership,
    above a specified threshold, without the explicit
    permission of the Secretary of Commerce.

    5. All encryption devices must be approved by the Us
    Government for the purpose of denying unauthorized
    access to others during periods when national security,
    international obligations and/or foreign policies may
    be compromised as provided for in the Act.

    6. A licensee must use a data downlink format that allows
    the Us Government access and use of the data during
    periods when national security, international
    obligations and/or foreign policies may be compromised
    as provided for in the Act.

    7. During periods when national security or international
    obligations and/or foreign policies may be compromised,
    as defined by the Secretary of Defense or the Secretary
    of State, respectively, the Secretary of Commerce may,
    after consultation with the appropriate agency(ies),
    require the licensee to limit data collection and/or
    distribution by the system to the extent necessitated
    by the given situation. Decisions to impose such
    limits only will be made by the Secretary of Commerce
    in consultation with the Secretary of Defense or the
    Secretary of State, as appropriate. Disagreements
    between Cabinet Secretaries may be appealed to the
    President. The Secretaries of State, Defense and
    Commerce shall develop their own internal mechanisms to
    enable them to carry out their statutory

    8. Pursuant to the Act, the Us Government requires Us
    companies that have been issued operating licenses
    under the Act to notify the Us Government of its intent
    to enter into significant or substantial agreements
    with new foreign customers. Interested agencies shall
    be given advance notice of such agreements to allow
    them the opportunity to review the proposed agreement
    in light of the national security, international
    obligations and foreign policy concerns of the Us
    Government. The definition of a significant or
    substantial agreement, as well as the time frames and
    other details of this process, will be defined in later
    Commerce regulations in consultation with appropriate

Transfer of Advanced Remote Sensing Capabilities

1. Advanced Remote Sensing System Exports: The United States
will consider requests to export advanced remote sensing
systems whose performance capabilities and imagery quality
characteristics are available or are planned for
availability in the world marketplace on a case-by-case

The details of these potential sales should take into
account the following:

    — the proposed foreign recipient’s willingness and
    ability to accept commitments to the Us Government
    concerning sharing, protection, and denial of
    products and data; and

    — constraints on resolution, geographic coverage,
    timeliness, spectral coverage, data processing and
    exploitation techniques, tasking capabilities, and
    ground architectures.

Approval of requests for exports of systems would also
require certain diplomatic steps be taken, such as informing
other close friends in the region of the request, and the
conditions we would likely attach to any sale; and informing
the recipient of our decision and the conditions we would
require as part of the sale.

Any system made available to a foreign government or other
foreign entity may be subject to a formal government-to-
government agreement.

Transfer of Sensitive Technology

The United States will consider applications to export
sensitive components, subsystems, and information concerning
remote sensing space capabilities on a restricted basis.
Sensitive technology in this situation consists of items of
technology on the Us Munitions List necessary to develop or to
support advanced remote sensing space capabilities and which are
uniquely available in the United States. Such sensitive
technology shall be made available to foreign entities only on
the basis of a government-to-government agreement. This
agreement may be in the form of end-use and retransfer assurances
which can be tailored to ensure the protection of Us technology.

Government-to-Government Intelligence and Defense Partnerships

Proposals for intelligence or defense partnerships with
foreign countries regarding remote sensing that would raise
questions about Us Government competition with the private sector
or would change the Us Government’s use of funds generated
pursuant to a Us-foreign government partnership arrangement shall
be submitted for interagency review.

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