Spying on spy satellites: satmobs
February 5th, 2008

The New York Times profiles people who follow spy satellites. These folks aren’t government employees, but private citizens. The article introduces this world of popular sousveillance, describing it as apolitical.

Mr. Locker, who favors a telescope for his camerawork, said that people like him and Mr. Molczan were not, as he put it, “nerdy buffs who lie on our backs and look into the sky and try to undermine governments.” Spotting, he said, is simply a hobby.

Yet there are, of course, national security implications for these satmobbers.

Despite the many clever ways that the spy agencies try to minimize the likelihood that their satellites will be spotted, he said, they will be. And that, he said, is a valuable warning: a world with so many eyes on the skies renders deep secrets shallow.

“If Ted can track all these satellites,” Mr. Pike said, “so can the Chinese.”

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