Image for The satellites helping track illegality on the high seas

The satellites helping track illegality on the high seas

Ships operating illegally can no longer become anonymous to trackers, according to an investigation

Ships operating illegally can no longer become anonymous to trackers, according to an investigation

Thousands of tiny surveillance satellites in space now allow every ship on Earth to be tracked, revealing illegal behaviour and giving traders real-time data on the global economy, an investigation by the BBC has revealed.

Turning off the automatic identification system (AIS) transponders that broadcast a ship’s position, course and speed, is no longer a guarantee of anonymity. The satellites are used to search for evidence of illegal shipping by nations such as North Korea, Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Image: Cameron Venti

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