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    Update: Homeland Security Officially Closes Spy Satellite Program

    Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced “her decision to end the National Applications Office (NAO) program, after a five-month review conducted in coordination with the Department’s law enforcement, emergency management and intelligence partners.” She said, “This action will allow us to focus our efforts on more effective information sharing programs that better meet the needs of law enforcement, protect the civil liberties and privacy of all Americans, and make our country more secure.”

    Yesterday, the Wlall Street Journal reported that the administration planned to shutter the controversial National Applications Office. There was an uproar last year over the spy-satellite program, which would greatly expand the domestic use of military technology. Recently, the Major Cities Chiefs Association, wrote to Napolitano (pdf), saying, “In our view, the NAO is not an issue of urgency.” The chiefs urged Napolitano to instead focus on the goal of “effective sharing of law enforcement information that protects the privacy and civil liberties of Americans.” They said, “we are thus committed to a national framework of privacy and civil liberty protections. We believe that at this time, it is these efforts that should be the priority versus the establishment of the NAO.”

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