New Law Bars Russian GPS Sites in U.S.

Tucked into the mammoth defense budget bill that President Obama signed into law on Thursday is a measure that virtually bars Russia from building about a half-dozen monitor stations on American soil that critics fear Moscow could use to spy on the United States or worse.

Russia first broached the idea of erecting the domed antenna structures here nearly two years ago, saying they would significantly improve the accuracy and reliability of its version of the Global Positioning System, the American satellite network that steers bomb-bearing warplanes to their targets and wayward motorists to their destinations.

Congressional Republicans, however, harbored suspicions that Russia had nefarious motives behind its plan, which the State Department supported as a means to mend bruised relations between the two rival nations. The Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency sided with congressional critics, concerned about handing the Russians an opening to snoop on the United States within its borders.

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