Is it a bird? Is it a plane?
Amid all the fuss about the Chinese balloon floating over Montana – we should not forget that the US has 339 military surveillance satellites operating around the world; watching everyone and everything all the time.
They launched four of them in 2020 and, as Space Magazine reported at the time “It’s unclear exactly what the spacecraft will be doing up there.” Though I think we can work it out.
If every other country reacted to that like the US has to this balloon, no future summit would ever be able to take place.
Paranoia about Chinese technology is becoming another theme being pushed hard in the Western Press and on right wing sites. Here’s a headline from one of them. China finds SHOCKING WAY to spy on you – and they’re already in your KITCHEN! (their caps) Of course, if there’s someone from Chinese intelligence who wants to sit in your fridge to note the contents, he or she would have to nudge Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg and Eric Schmidt out of the way first. “Alexa! note down everything I’m saying”.
The US has also been developing balloon surveillance capacity of its own. Last May Politico reported that
Over the past two years, the Pentagon has spent about $3.8 million on balloon projects, and plans to spend $27.1 million in fiscal year 2023 to continue work on multiple efforts, according to budget documents.
For years, DoD has conducted tests using high-altitude balloons and solar-powered drones to collect data, provide ground forces with communication and mitigate satellite problems. The Pentagon is quietly transitioning the balloon projects to the military services to collect data and transmit information to aircraft, POLITICO discovered in DoD budget justification documents.
Projecting just a little perhaps?