28 March 2012
Support our work: become a Friend of Statewatch from as little as £1/€1 per month.
Motorola, the main founder of the Iridium satellite-phone system, said on 23 August that it was to begin destroying the 66 satellite in orbit around the earth. The company estimated that it would take eight to nine months to destroy the satellite by guiding them back to the Earth and letting them burn up in the atmosphere. The cost for the operation is estimated to be $50 million (International Herald Tribune, 24.8.00).
This follows the failure of the Iridium company to find a buyers for its satellite-based system after if filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in August 1999. Iridium tried to sell its assets but a potential buyer backed out in July after concluding the project was not capable of making money. The failure of the Iridium system was due to its out-dated technology and bulky and expensive handsets considered to be unreliable.
Iridium was the first of the satellite-telecommunications companies to set up a ground station in the European Union based in Rome, Italy. A key section on interception in the EU's Convention on Mutual Assistance in criminal matters - adopted by the Justice and Home Affairs Council on 29 May - was based on the "convenient option" of Iridium's offer to re-route phone-calls and e-mails to be intercepted without the need for a warrant. For Iridium and the EU-FBI plan for telecommunications surveillance, Statewatch bulletin, vol 8 nos 5 and 6, vol 9 no 2 and vol 10 no 2 and on this site: EU-FBI
Spotted an error? If you've spotted a problem with this page, just click once to let us know.
Statewatch does not have a corporate view, nor does it seek to create one, the views expressed are those of the author. Statewatch is not responsible for the content of external websites and inclusion of a link does not constitute an endorsement. Registered UK charity number: 1154784. Registered UK company number: 08480724. Registered company name: The Libertarian Research & Education Trust. Registered office: MayDay Rooms, 88 Fleet Street, London EC4Y 1DH. © Statewatch ISSN 1756-851X. Personal usage as private individuals "fair dealing" is allowed. We also welcome links to material on our site. Usage by those working for organisations is allowed only if the organisation holds an appropriate licence from the relevant reprographic rights organisation (eg: Copyright Licensing Agency in the UK) with such usage being subject to the terms and conditions of that licence and to local copyright law.