Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will kill a controversial Bush administration program to expand the use of spy satellites by domestic law enforcement and other agencies, reports the Washington Post. Napolitano acted after state and local law enforcement officials said access to secret overhead imagery was not a priority.
Two years ago, President Bush’s intelligence and homeland security officials authorized the National Applications Office (NAO) to expand sharing of satellite data with domestic agencies. Congressional Democrats barred funding for what they said could become a new platform for domestic surveillance that would raise privacy and civil liberties concerns. This month, House Democrats expressed surprise that Obama included funding for the program in the classified portion of the Department of Homeland Security’s 2010 budget, and they threatened to kill the office.