Re: China insisted was an errant weather balloon
That's because the wing-nuts in a certain circle of the US population are, well, crazy AF.
Sure.... that Chinese balloon could have been photographing stuff... but so do satellites, every frigging day! Both private companies and government entities. The private companies being the ones I'd be most worried about, since they will sell any image to any buyer. (Think of all those fitness trackers....) Governments tend to want to horde their data.
Sure.... that Chinese balloon could have been intercepting RF signals.... but so do a lot of other things, every frigging day! I mean, back in the day of satellite communications, crafty spies would setup shop "behind" the transceiver and listen to the RF beam's wide spread on the ground.
I'm quite positive that sensitive USG properties have thought of all the ways information can be leaked/gathered/etc. In fact, I'm sure they do it every day against other entities every day. I would think (hope) that anyway we can acquire intelligence, someone considers if we ourselves are also sensitive to that same method of leakage.
At least that's what a reasonable person should consider... and I do believe that those in charge of sensitive sites think of these things.Except in cases of a novel data leaks, such as the aforementioned fitness trackers. That's a solved problem now.