Quick, Hide the Tanks!

Amateur sky watchers are tracking U.S. spy satellites on the Web, and some spooks are not amused

When they divvy up the $27 billion intelligence budget each year, it's not the well-known CIA that takes the lion's share. The real haul goes to an obscure agency called the National Reconnaissance Office, which builds and deploys the country's high-tech, supersecret spy satellites. For the billions of dollars it receives, the NRO produces portfolios of invaluable high-resolution pictures (which can indeed read license plates from space). The photos give the U.S. a jump on adversaries as diverse as North Korean missile builders and South American drug lords.

But these secret spies in the sky have a problem: they're not so...

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