NASA are conducting a survey of amateur astronomers to see what kind of kit we are observing with and what time of the day we use it.
It seems they are “making an assessment of the hazard potentially present to the general public as a result of NASA’s satellite-based climate science lidar measurements”; this is the wording used in an email sent out by the Royal Astronomical Society.
I assume they are worried that a visual observer who happened to be looking down the barrel of a space based LIDAR laser beam might suffer eye damage if looking directly at it through a large telescope using the naked eye. CCDers would not be under threat.
Afterall, even if you were using a laser of a wavelength generally deemed “eye safe” then the light grasp of a 12″ could massively increase the number of photons reaching your eye.
EDIT: Should have read the very end of the survey. They are indeed trying to model the risk to ground observers.