On Wednesday, June 23 (legislative day of Tuesday, June 22), 2004, the Senate passed S. 2400, as follows:



(a) Disclosure Prohibited.--Land remote sensing information may not be disclosed under section 552 of title 5, United States Code.
(b) Land Remote Sensing Information Defined.--In this section, the term ``land remote sensing information''--
(c) State or Local Government Disclosures.--Land remote sensing information provided by the head of a department or agency of the United States to a State or local government may not be made available to the general public under any State or local law relating to the disclosure of information or records.
(d) Safeguarding Information.--The head of each department or agency of the United States having land remote sensing information within that department or agency or providing such information to a State or local government shall take such actions, commensurate with the sensitivity of that information, as are necessary to protect that information from disclosure prohibited under this section.
(e) Other Definitions.--In this section, the terms ``land remote sensing'' and ``United States Government and its affiliated users'' have the meanings given such terms in section 3 of such Act (15 U.S.C. 5602).

[Report language from S.Rep. 108-260]

Nondisclosure of certain products of commercial satellite operations (sec. 1034)

The committee recommends a provision that would exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), (section 552 of title 5, United States Code), data that are collected by land remote sensing and are prohibited from sale to customers other than the United States and its affiliated users under the Land Remote Sensing Policy Act of 1992, (section 5601 et seq. of title 15, United States Code). The exemption would also include any imagery and other product that is derived from such data. State and local laws mandating disclosure by a State or local government would be preempted.

The United States often enters into exclusive licensing agreements with commercial satellite operators that prohibit these companies from selling certain unclassified data and imagery, except to the United States and to approved customers. Compelled release of such data and imagery by the United States under FOIA defeats the purpose of these licensing agreements, removes any profit motive, and may damage the national security by mandating disclosure to the general public upon request. While the data and imagery could be protected from disclosure under FOIA by classifying them, the United States prefers to keep them unclassified. Unclassified matter is more easily shared with coalition partners in contingency operations and with State and local officials in disaster relief and homeland security operations.