Immediately following is a guest post by Peter J. Brown, a close observer of emergency communications and satellite operations at DHS and FEMA. The post consists of questions Mr. Brown posed to the Department of Homeland Security about five weeks ago and the answers he received last Friday.
According to the official DHS backgrounder the National Applications Office, “is the executive agent to facilitate the use of intelligence community technological assets for civil, homeland security and law enforcement purposes within the United States.” For more detailed background see the NAO Charter.
NAO has attracted scrutiny, skepticism, and more for the alleged use of satellites to spy on the American people. Last July, Charlie Allen, former Director of the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, made a case for continuation of the NAO.
Peter J. Brown’s most recent published commentary on emergency communications and related matters appears in the October 2008 issue of “Disaster Medicine & Public Health Preparedness“, a journal of the American Medical Association (subscription required). He has also previously addressed the NAO and the National Emergency Communications Plan here at HLSwatch.