Germany to curb commercial satellite data

The German government is taking a lead in Europe with draft legislation to control data generated by nongovernmental orbital systems.

The draft Satellite Data Security Law aims to significantly curb the ability of commercial companies to create and distribute satellite-generated data of the country.

The law will require anyone operating an “advanced orbital reconnaissance system” to obtain a permit from the government. Satellites, space stations and air-based transportation systems are among the reconnaissance systems mentioned in the draft law.

Under the proposed law, operators must also conduct and document a series of checks on customers to ensure that requests for data don’t pose a threat to national security.

Offenders could face a five-year prison term or a fine up to