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October 20 2013

The world needs a rocket tax to solve the “Gravity” space junk problem – Quartz

The world needs a rocket tax to solve the “Gravity” space junk problem – Quartz

Earlier this year, a group of economists from Indiana-Purdue University, the US Federal Communications Commission, and the US Naval Academy tried to figure out how to limit the potential damage to a satellite industry that is responsible for everything from internet communications to GPS networks, and which was worth some $170 billion in 2012.
(...) The study found that commercial #satellite firms launch more satellites than is “socially desirable,” and they use launch technology that is more likely to create debris “because they only compare individual marginal benefits and costs of their technology choice and fail to take into account social benefits and costs.” That puts space debris squarely into the category of a “negative #externality,” (...)

One answer, they suggest, is a tax on satellite launches that could be used to pay for orbital clean-up


August 21 2013

New Details Show Broader NSA Surveillance Reach -

New Details Show Broader #NSA #Surveillance Reach -

The National Security Agency—which possesses only limited legal authority to spy on U.S. citizens—has built a surveillance network that covers more Americans’ Internet communications than officials have publicly disclosed, current and former officials say.

The system has the capacity to reach roughly 75% of all U.S. Internet traffic in the hunt for foreign intelligence, including a wide array of communications by foreigners and Americans. In some cases, it retains the written content of emails sent between citizens within the U.S. and also filters domestic phone calls made with Internet technology, these people say.

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