Satellites as Sentinels Essay - Essay Prowess

Satellites as Sentinels Essay

Satellites, as a form of remote sensing technology, can limit states’ ability cloak human rights abuses in secrecy. When the data  derived from such technologies are combined with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to present images to the world, it can be a powerful method for both displaying the patterns of violence and mass atrocities and for mobilizing publics to seek remedy. As John Prendergast of the International Crisis Group proclaimed:
No one can any longer say they don’t know. This tool will bring a spotlight to a very dark corner of the earth, a torch that will indirectly help protect the victims. It is David versus Goliath, and Google Earth just gave David a stone for his slingshot. – J(Washington Post, April 14, 2007)

As the technologies become increasingly powerful and accessible to a greater number of civil society actors, primarily citizen journalists, research institutes and NGOs, the challenges of making sure that these technologies are properly / ethically deployed become increasingly salient.

In a single discussion, briefly compare the timeliness and purpose of the Holocaust Museum’s “Crisis in Darfur”, Amnesty International’s “Eyes on Darfur”, and the Satellite Sentinel project. Because it operated in “real-time”, the Satellite Sentinel project faced the most acute ethical challenges, one related to the impact that it had on the ground, and the other to the relation between advocacy and analytics. Discuss either or both of these challenges, indicating what you see as a problem and potential strategies for its resolution.

In your individual response, I am looking to see evidence that you have understood the theoretical implications of course readings and can apply these to the issues at hand and to your professional practice. Make your answer strong and comprehensive.

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