Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Proceedings of the International Institute of Space Law 2006: 49th Colloquium on the Law of Outer Space


This paper examines the right of states to broadcast propaganda by satellite in times of war. In exploring this issue, the author addresses the hypothetical question of whether a state may use DBS technology to broadcast a commercial news program, such as CNN, into an enemy state in wartime as part of a larger campaign to win the support of the civilian population. The author begins by establishing that that the consent of a receiving state is required prior to such broadcasts, whether in peacetime or in times of war. This requirement of "prior consent" is the only restriction of the broadcasting of such news programs since the programs do not rise to the level of illegal war propaganda nor would such broadcasts be prohibited by the international law demanding that outer space be used only for "peaceful purposes." This analysis concludes with the warning that the inviolability of the "prior consent" doctrine may be threatened by the recent adoption by the United States of a more relaxed theory of what measures may be taken under the right of self-defense. Finally, the author takes up the related question regarding the right of states to use jamming technologies to block illegal satellite transmissions.