Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) has an update on the release of KH-9 satellite imagery to the public:
Intelligence community officials have been meeting with representatives of the National Archives to discuss the anticipated declassification and release of intelligence imagery from the KH-9 satellite dating between 1971 and 1984.
Officials have been negotiating the transfer of the original negatives from the KH-9 system and the provision of finding aids, according to a newly released but heavily redacted report from the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, dated June 2012.
If “keyhole” reminds you of keyhole markup language (kml) it should. Keyhole was the name of the software which was bought by Google and turned into Google Earth. I interviewed Avi Bar-Zeev, one of the co-founders of the company in Cartographica (article is freely available here).
The June 2012 report was obtained by Aftergood through FOIA. As he correctly points out, it is quite heavily redacted, but it details the release of historical imagery from the KH-9 systems, operational between 1971 and 1984 (and officially decommissioned in 2011).