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Moscow court upholds ban against satellite image distributor

RIA Novosti

18:29 06/05/2011

MOSCOW, May 6 (RIA Novosti) - A Moscow court upheld a ban on Friday prohibiting the Russian research and development company ScanEx from distributing satellite images of Earth at a resolution higher than two meters.

Scanex works under license from the Russian federal space agency, Roscosmos, to collect, process and disseminate Earth remote sensing data.

A 2008 ban prohibited ScanEx from distributing high-resolution images, considered by the defense ministry to contain sensitive military information.

ScanEx appealed the ban, citing the Russian defense minister as saying in 2006 that all restrictions on satellite imagery resolution would be lifted.

Commenting after the court decision was announced, a ScanEx spokesman said the company would file another appeal.

"The whole world can see Russia from space on detailed satellite images, but in Russia these data have not been definitively declassified," the spokesman said.

Last November Roscosmos announced that it was preparing a bill to lift all restrictions on the dissemination of civil satellite data.

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