With the recent launch of the IKONOS satellite—the first of many high-resolution commercial imaging satellites—the world entered a new era of growing global transparency. Now, anyone can buy spy satellite imagery.

This era holds great promise and danger. The new imagery can help the world's governments and organizations to assist refugees, deter aggression or large-scale humanitarian atrocities, or control environmental degradation. It could also help those inclined to mount military operations or plan terrorist attacks. Governments around the globe have been caught off guard. Until now, their policies are nonexistent or counterproductive.

Secrets for Sale presents the first in-depth analysis of the emerging commercial remote sensing industry. This timely publication examines the benefits and dilemmas created by the new industry, and provides badly needed policy recommendations on how and why to handle the new transparency right.