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DOD vs. 802.11b

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the objections-after-the-fact dept.

The Internet 352

goombah99 writes "The NY times (reg required) reports that "The Defense Department, arguing that an increasingly popular form of wireless Internet access could interfere with military radar, is seeking new limits on the technology". It would seem they have a good point; radar is an essential for both defense and civilian aviation as well as ship navigation in tight quarters. Critics of the restrictions contend technology can limit the interference, but what proof is there to these assertions? Sure we all want wireless internet but maybe there should be more careful review of its consequences."

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352 comments

Christmas Break (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4908510)

Yay! LAN parties, books, food, karate. Woo! Merry Christmas, everyone!

Re:Christmas Break (-1, Offtopic)

tarzan353 (246515) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908724)

I'm Jewish. I thought this was site was for "news for nerds", not religious oppression.

fo (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4908512)

fp even!

First post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4908518)

HURD SUCKS! No PS/2 mice support!

1st Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4908520)

1st Post

FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4908521)

FP MOD me UP dammit!

fear mongering (5, Informative)

dbrower (114953) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908526)

it's not about current wifi, but about expansion into the 5ghz band being debated. there are no current examples of interference.

-dB

Baloney! (3, Insightful)

cosmosis (221542) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908667)

Dbrower - you are absolutely rigght. All of this stuff about interference is pure BS. Software Defined Radio [sdrforum.org] combined with Open Spectrum renders interference problems obsolete. Ironically, it was the military who invented software defined radio in the first place!

I would say this has more to do with either pure ignorance on the part of the DOD, or an excuse to squash this liberating technology.

Planet P Weblog [planetp.cc] - Personal Liberty with Technology.

Re:fear mongering (1)

kevorkian (142533) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908685)

Ummm .. 5ghz stuff is ON THE SHELF allready

Go to your local compusa or local equivalant. Linksys has been selling this for a few months now

-Chris

DOD wins you hippy fags (-1)

neal n bob (531011) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908529)

This Troll Tuesday in honor of Donny Rumsfeld.

Ok Ok - This is obvious .... (3, Funny)

bizitch (546406) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908536)

This means WAR!! (driving)

Simple (-1, Offtopic)

SteweyGriffin (634046) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908539)

Alcohol and tobacco kill people.

Pornography does not.

Re:Simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4908713)

SteweyGriffin is a troll. He already posted this bullshit once [slashdot.org] . Please mod down until he posts at -1.

Concerns (5, Insightful)

coreman (8656) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908542)

Well, they'd better tighten up the radars to deal with it else they've just given an off the shelf solution to interfering with these radars, and told interested parties about it.

Consider the impact of a Beowulf cluster of these!

Why not just use cell towers for radar? (5, Funny)

guacamolefoo (577448) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908543)

Recently in the ex-Yugoslav mess, I believe that there were reports of the use of cell towers to track the "stealth" bomber, so who needs radar? Besides, is the DOD planning on bombing Starbucks? One can only hope!

GF

Re:Why not just use cell towers for radar? (2)

aengblom (123492) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908581)

From my understanding, folks would simply watch the Stealth figher's come in and call in reports of the planes. Highly low tech, but moderatley effective.

Re:Why not just use cell towers for radar? (1)

bjschrock (557973) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908669)

That's why they fly at night... and are black...

Nope. (4, Informative)

glrotate (300695) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908646)

According to this article it was a modification of existing radar.

Some aviation experts suspect the Serbs used a crude version of passive radar -- plugging computers into their existing air defense system -- to locate an F-117A Nighthawk stealth bomber, shot down in 1999. [usatoday.com]

Also from the article:

John Hansman, professor of aeronautics and astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said passive radar is still in its "infancy, but is something that will lead to new stealth research."

"This is another trick that will force stealth researchers to push forward," Hansman said.

All in all just another iteration in spy v spy.

Re:Nope. (2, Informative)

guacamolefoo (577448) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908726)

According to this article it was a modification of existing radar.

According to the same article, it was also radar based on interpreting cel tower signals:

"WASHINGTON (AP) -- America's stealth bombers may be in danger of having their cover blown by a new type of radar that uses cell phone technology, researchers say.

The Air Force says the problem is limited and America's stealth fleet is in no danger. Yet U.S. intelligence reports label the radar a serious threat, and several scientists say they agree.

"We're talking about radar technology that can pinpoint almost any disturbance in the atmosphere," said Hugh Brownstone, a physicist at the Intergon Research Center in New York who has worked for the cell phone giant Nokia.

"You might not be able to distinguish between a stealth plane and a normal one, but you might not need to," he said. "The point is, you can see the stealth plane as a blip."

The potential risk comes from radar towers used by cell phone companies to draw in signal patterns. The new technology, called passive radar, watches signals from common cell phone transmissions. When a plane passes through, it leaves a hole in the pattern, giving away its location.

Traditional radar -- the kind stealthy B-2 and F-117A bombers can fool with their angles and radar-absorbing paint -- sends out signals and waits for them to bounce off large objects in the sky and return."

GF.

Re:Why not just use cell towers for radar? (1)

DirkDaring (91233) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908700)

"Besides, is the DOD planning on bombing Starbucks? One can only hope!"

Ok now THAT was funny. Made me laugh! :)

I can see the military's point (3, Funny)

MetricT (128876) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908544)

802.11 is only used by terrorists and degrades our ability to conduct military strikes against Starbucks...

Re:I can see the military's point (1)

Blindman (36862) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908580)

I can see the commercial now. "I didn't want to bomb anybody. I just wanted to use my laptop."

Just say no to wireless.

Re:I can see the military's point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4908598)

Hahahaha! It's funny 'cause there is only the slightest shred of a connection from the parent to the article!

Re:I can see the military's point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4908702)

And Osama bin Laden is behind all the warchalking...

The Next Thing To Restricts Civil Liberties (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4908733)

Martial law will probably be in force by 2004. Another reason to vote AGAINST The Cheney Rumsfeld Regime [whitehouse.org]

Cheers,

W00t

Get Your War On [mnftiu.cc]

Interference? (5, Funny)

wiredog (43288) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908545)

Don't wifi/802.whatever/etc have power outputs in the milliwatts? Military radars work with hundreds of watts.

And if these technologies do jam radars, is there an application in the field of speeding ticket avoidance?

Re:Interference? (5, Informative)

voodoopriestess (569912) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908596)

Most modern radars have attenuation and can handle a wide range of RF frequencies. This can be from 0.5 GHz to 40 GHz. Mobile phones and current WIFI inhabit the 2.5 GHz range (commonly refered to as CD band) and is dealt with seperately to the rest of the microwave bands (E-J and K). A WIFI adapter will NOT jam a military radar but rather show up as an unknown emitter which in a time of war will generally cause the ship/plane/helicopter to go "defensive" and defend against the potential threat!

Re:Interference? (3, Funny)

Dark Lord Seth (584963) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908730)

A WIFI adapter will NOT jam a military radar but rather show up as an unknown emitter which in a time of war will generally cause the ship/plane/helicopter to go "defensive" and defend against the potential threat!

... meaning that you'd better have a fast vehicle if you go wardriving near any military installation because you might just end up with a HARM missile chasing your SUV down the interstate. Although if you're in a suicidal mood, you could ping something from your car and mock the HARM missile as it locks onto the emitter, which shut down after sending the echo-request packet, causing the missile to loose lock, after a bit your wifi card sends out another icmp-request packet, causing the HARM missile to momentarily re-aquire a lock onto you again, etcetera.

Can you imagine some poor pilot having to report to his CO why his HARM missile is continously losing lock in the middle of NYC?

Re:Interference? (3, Informative)

Detritus (11846) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908644)

A radar may have a very high ERP (effective radiated power), but the signal returned from an illuminated target is small. You have the path loss to and from the target. That is what makes it possible to jam a radar with a modest transmitter.

Re:Interference? (2)

archeopterix (594938) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908660)

Don't wifi/802.whatever/etc have power outputs in the milliwatts? Military radars work with hundreds of watts.
The generated signal may be hundreds of watts, but the received echo is far below miliwatts. Radar designers have to use really smart tricks to avoid jamming themselves.
And if these technologies do jam radars, is there an application in the field of speeding ticket avoidance?
The radars used by cops operate somewhere near the visible wavelengths (hundreds of nanometers). That is much shorter than military radars (centimeters, as far as I remember). I don't think wifi interferes with that.

FCC should take care of this (5, Insightful)

spacecomputer (545222) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908553)

Last I checked it was the FCC that was responsible for the allocation of spectrum in the United States and territories. They are the arbitrator of interference issues. In short: I use WiFi, if there is a problem then the FCC, not me, is to blame.

Re:FCC should take care of this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4908588)

Well, that is nominally true, but in these new times, the DoD needs a broader hand to protect American interests. Now, I think they should leverage the Office of Homeland Security, because the potential for illicit activities using wireless is much greater than that of land lines, much in the same way that cell phones are more of a threat than land line phones (mobility, encryption, concealment, etc etc, all aid in nefarious behavior). I don't think the FCC need bother themselves with these issues, just the practical things like frequency assignment, HDTV, etc. Let the Office of Homeland Security take these issues.

Re:FCC should take care of this (2, Interesting)

Albinoman (584294) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908604)

I was going to reply to this in your way. This is absolutely right. Isnt the FCC supposed to check what frequencies are being used by what and allocate wavelengths accordingly? Why hasnt the NTSC complained (different frequecy radars I might guess), they are the one who actually need radar over our soil. What the heck are the military tracking other than training flights?

Re:FCC should take care of this (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4908636)

WiFi operates as a Part 15 device. Part 15 users must except any interference and not cause any. That's the price of not having to have a license.

Re:FCC should take care of this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4908705)

...and if they cause interference to licensed people in that spectrum they(the unlicensed) are to fix the problem.

Re:FCC should take care of this (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4908741)

Yes, They are the administrators of radio spectrum for the US.

But unlicensed wireless is at the bottom of the totem pole by being governed under FCC Part 15-247 rules. Part 15 equipment operates on a non-interference basis to everything else. Look for mention of part 15 in the manual for any consumer electronic device to see the official language.

If DoD says WiFi is interfering with aviation radar, I'd expect to see the WiFi spectrum yanked in short order. But the FCC usually wants to see proof of interference or at least documentation showing such interference is probable... not sure they'd require that of the DoD though - the FCC is pretty protective of government-use spectrum.

Re:FCC should take care of this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4908746)

What is the military complaining about, doesn't their equipment have the FCC stamp on it?
"This device must accept all interference received, even if it causes undesirable effects"

HEY EKROUT YOU'RE NOT (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4908555)

EKROUT IS A FAGGOT
fucking cock sucking son of a bitch shit fuck ass fucker bitch

Re:HEY EKROUT YOU'RE NOT (0)

foodb4nk (563115) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908576)

You need a role model....

5 GHZ != 802.11b or g only 802.11a (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4908559)

dumbass

Other problems as well (1)

shylock0 (561559) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908562)

I think the poster has a good point -- we should probably look into interference produced by many of today's wireless devices, particularly higher-frequency devices like 802.11b&a. The DOD has every right to investigate this potential threat to national security, not to mention aviation safety.

At the same time, I've really got to question some of the limits placed on aircraft passengers in terms of using their cell-phone and other two-way electronic devices in flight and during takeoff. It seems to me that since the signals from the ground are bouncing all over the place anyway. Could somebody who knows a little more let me know how much interference these actually cause? Generally speaking, how much of a problem is interference? Or is the point sort of that nobody (DOD included) knows, and that more research really should be done on the issue?

Re:Other problems as well (1)

qwkbrnfox (559919) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908641)

I don't know what it's like elsewhere, but in Canada, we are told not to use cell phones near gas stations. My bs detector is going off. You are telling me that a tiny cell phone is more likely to start a fire than a car starter motor? I'm always suspicious of these claims of dangerous interference.

Re:Other problems as well (5, Interesting)

aborchers (471342) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908690)

Interference of cell phones with avionics is a red herring. The real problem with using cell phones on airplanes is that at high altitude and speed, a cell phone hops towers too frequently.

The case for avionics interference is actually quite weak, from all reports I've heard. The policy for cell use on aircraft is partly CYA, partly greed (use our in-flight phone instead) and partly a cookie to the cell industry, which cannot or does not want to deal with the hassles of supporting high-speed tower-hopping on their networks...

Re:Other problems as well (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4908696)

it's really becuase when you start using your cell phone it goes into transmitting mode, and boosts its power high enough to hit the tower, so you have a local energy source. Those towers are far away, so the time the signal gets to your phone its power has faded and now just harmless background noise. It's the same reason that having the phone up to your head could actually be harmful, but all that spectra of radio waves going through isn't, it's just background noise. kinda like this post, background noise.

EMI? No problem. (2)

Detritus (11846) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908566)

The solution [navy.mil] .

Better solution (1)

rtphokie (518490) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908626)

There are a lot of starbucks out there, this solution [navy.mil] provides better automation (though is a bit more expensive.)

802.11 and police radar (1)

dfj225 (587560) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908567)

Is it probable then that if I was to have a 802.11 signal mysteriously eminating from my car that it would interfere with police radar allowing me to speed as much as I want?

Re:802.11 and police radar (2)

greechneb (574646) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908651)

It is probably if that was done, and proven intentional, you'd end up getting screwed.

Most states outlaw radar jammers anymore I believe.

worried more about.. (1)

fandelem (559908) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908569)

personally i would be more worried as a citizen as to why they are complaining about something blocking their radar.. HELLO?? if anyone who wants to attack us knows this, and if we do indeed depend on this heavily (though i doubt this is our only medium in this area) -- the DOD should figure a way around this, because the "enemy" could simply use this to their advantage (in the sense of applying it to block radar.. etc etc)..

just my .01 cent.

k.

Take time to be sure (3, Insightful)

seosamh (158550) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908571)

The article says that DOD only wants a delay in the consideration, blah, blah...

"The Pentagon wants regulators to delay consideration of opening an additional swath of radio frequencies..."

It seems prudent to at least explore the possibility that wireless could degrade the use of radar (for military and civilian purposes) before jumping on this issue. The key to being responsible about it is to move quickly on the necessary research.

Priorities (3, Funny)

Genuine669 (634832) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908573)

Maybe I'm wrong, but being an up and coming naval officer myself, I don't think there is much of an argument. Radar or wireless internet...radar or wireless internet... or maybe they could combine both..you know, ping someone, find their lag....and their distance =)

Re:Priorities (2, Informative)

jhealy (91456) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908725)

Good to know our up and coming naval officers have a good grasp on the concepts of contemporary technology.

This has got to be a load of crap (1)

smack_attack (171144) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908577)

I think maybe you could interfere if you stood in front of their radar installation wrapped in aluminum holding up your WAP and dancing around.

Re:This has got to be a load of crap (2)

quintessent (197518) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908613)

"But sir, this is where the Slashdot Meetup was supposed to be."

Re:This has got to be a load of crap (2)

GMontag (42283) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908680)

Yes, my "crap detector" pegged out immediately. I don't see any way that multiple low-level emmisssions could interfere with even low-powered RADAR units.

consequences? how about these consequences? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4908578)


The military wants to protect what is [probably] aging tech. So, they in effect propose that we "devour our young" in order to protect these Important Military Things.

End effect is that the rest of the world IT economy will capitialize on wireless tech advances. It is little steps like this that will remove whatever technical superiority the US once had.....

IN SOVIET RUSSIA (1, Troll)

dethl (626353) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908583)

WI-FI IS OUR RADAR!

Typical Military BS (5, Insightful)

Boulder Geek (137307) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908586)

Choice quotes: "might cause interence", "not right now, but maybe in the future"... This is the Pentagon spreading FUD, and knowing the predilictions of the current administration, it all bodes very ill for wireless in general and WiFi in particular. In my quick scan of the article I didn't see any mention of 5Ghz or 802.11a, so it rationalizations that the Pentagon is looking at the UII band are misplaced.

Consider yourselves warned.

Re:Typical Military BS (2, Interesting)

shylock0 (561559) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908615)

Yeah, but I think the broader point is that it "might" cause interference; nobody knows, and the military just wants to put things on hold to test things out. Note that they talked not just about tracking systems, but also about possible interference with missile guidance. The people over at the DOD who work on these things all have PhDs in physics, so I'm assuming this isn't all BS.

It would be a real, real shame if wireless tech interfered with long-range weapons systems so that, say, wireless tech in Israel caused enough interference for smart bombs in Iraq to hit a hospital instead of a weapons depot... I'm not saying its possible, I'm just saying that the possibility needs to be investigated, so that the military can redesign their systems to fix the problem.

Re:Typical Military BS (2)

GMontag (42283) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908729)

The "BS" factor may well be within the writing of the article. The feds have plenty of PhDs working on this, but what of the somewhat anti-military New York Times?

Suggestion for Saddam (3, Funny)

nomadicGeek (453231) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908593)

Get on Amazon and order a whole mess of Linksys WAP 11's. Then get a hand on as many Pringles cans as possible (Pringle can antenna article) . This is the cheapest missile defense system you can build. [oreillynet.com]

Re:Suggestion for Saddam (1)

dethl (626353) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908628)

If he did, maybe we could hack into his press email box again >:)

Re:Suggestion for Saddam (1)

JordoCrouse (178999) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908666)

Get on Amazon and order a whole mess of Linksys WAP 11's.

That would a whole new meaning to the phrase "warchalk".

Traitor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4908684)

I think you just committed a capital offense. To the wall!

Any Linux users do wireless stuff? (-1, Offtopic)

SteweyGriffin (634046) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908601)

How in the name of Greyskull do I get Linux 8.2 to recognize and allow access to my 128-bit encrypted wireless (802.11.x) network? (I'm using Mandrake)

Re:Any Linux users do wireless stuff? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4908657)

Please ignore posts by SteweyGriffin. He is a known troll who steals posts from other discussion groups. He is manipulating slashdot's moderation system. Please mod all his posts down so that he posts at -1.

Re:Any Linux users do wireless stuff? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4908694)

Google is your friend.

Re:Any Linux users do wireless stuff? (0, Offtopic)

Trusty Penfold (615679) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908697)

Start Menu -> Settings -> Control Panel -> Network -> Wireless Lan.

Click on advanced, switch to the "access" tab, click on "advanced", click on "driver settings", set the encryption radio button to "high".

Then, right click on desktop, choose properties, switch to the "screen saver" tab, in the drop down choose "Trusty Penfold". Press OK.

Reboot.

Wait 10 minutes.

HTH, HAND.

Just A Matter of Time (1, Redundant)

cybrpnk2 (579066) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908602)

...before somebody hacks up a mobile 802.11 net to put in their car that will act to protect them from speeding tickets!

Re:Just A Matter of Time (1)

dfj225 (587560) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908721)

I've already thought of that in my earlier post [slashdot.org] .

I can hear it now... (2, Funny)

trix_e (202696) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908603)

Mr. President, about, uh, 35 minutes ago, General Jack Ripper, the commanding general of, uh, Burpelson Air Force Base, issued an order to the 34 B-52's of his Wing, which were airborne at the time as part of a special exercise we were holding called Operation War Driver. Now, it appears that the order called for the planes to, uh, attack their targets inside Russia. The, uh, planes are fully armed with nuclear weapons with an average load of, um, 40 megatons each. Now, the central display of Russia will indicate the position of the planes. The triangles are their primary targets; the squares are their secondary targets. The aircraft will begin penetrating Russian radar cover within, uh, 25 minutes.

It, uh, appears that the whole misunderstanding was caused by a Wi-Fi access point in a Starbucks in Schenectady sir that confused General Ripper's signal corps.

Re:I can hear it now... (4, Funny)

yack0 (2832) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908679)

Mr McKittrick, after very careful consideration, Sir, I've come to the conclusion that your new Wifi network sucks.

Re:I can hear it now... (4, Funny)

volsung (378) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908739)

I'd piss on a sparkplug if I thought it would help me check my email!

I Supposedly Registered (0)

TimeReliesOnLadyLuck (634991) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908609)

nyt.com screws you! How many times will I have to fill out that form? Grumble.

Is it just me, or is it starting to feel like we live in some regime like Soviet Russia? Will the military crack down on wireless networks now?

If you're not using wires, you're helping the terrorists!

In Soviet Russia, (2)

adb (31105) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908638)

you screw nyt.com.

Could or Might interfere? (2)

Blindman (36862) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908614)

Basically, the article says that WiFi might interfere with Radar. I don't think anybody wants that, so rather than just scare everybody, they should do some studies and find out. If it does, they will most likely restrict the locations that it is available, and if it doesn't then we should move on to more interesting problems.

in related news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4908620)

the axis of evil orders 10000000 wireless ethernet cards and 8000000 yards of duct tape.

What goes around comes around... (2)

skaffen42 (579313) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908621)

So they complain when something might interfere with their navigation, but not when they interfere [wired.com] with the navigation of whales?

Dual standards as usual...

Hey! Since when... (1)

Call Me Black Cloud (616282) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908624)

...did the NYT require free registration? Well it's a good thing every single person posting a link to a NYT article mentions the free reg requirement. I'll certainly avoid these stories in the future...I hate giving away my personal information.

The bastards! Who do they think they are requiring free registration to access content they've paid to have written and hosted?

In a war room near you... (4, Funny)

Kredal (566494) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908625)

"Sir, there's a wireless access point at 30,000 feet, coming straight for us! The good news is, we can anonymously surf pr0n for the next 15 minutes... the bad news is that the access point is loaded with 50 megatons worth of bombs!"

Re:In a war room near you... (1)

misterhaan (613272) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908717)

how would they know that when their radar doesn't work?

This is still about fighting "terrorists" (1)

DingoTango (623217) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908639)

...even those in the US. Clearly, the US Military, who does not directly control the policy decisions of foreign countries, would not employ a technology that it knows is defeatable by consumer devices commonly found overseas. I think this may be about exercising greater control over Wireless APs, which have been designated a "terrorist threat [linuxsecurity.com] " when allowed to be public access.

Huh? (4, Insightful)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908645)

Didn't it occur to them to talk to the FCC about this, and the standards bodies that set up the 802.11a standard BEFORE products were out there on the market? If they missed the boat with this, then somebody's fucking head should roll. What a bunch of idiots. Fire whoever is responsible for failing to bring this up in the first place and make them personally liable for business losses to companies if they have to pull products off the market. That'll teach em.

Mod this up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4908647)

The first 5 people to mod this up, win the prize.

Why is this NOW a problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4908656)

Presumbally, the Miltary should have had input into the process that opened up the bandwidth for 802.11. The FCC shouldn't be aproving things like this in a vaccum, right?

Personally, I find it a bit suspicious that this comes so soon after the new Homeland Security dept report that suggests that people who don't lock down their access points might be helping the terrorists. Of course, this is all conspiracy theory type stuff -- but who knows if its true or not?

SETI Concerns? (2)

dagg (153577) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908663)

If the military is indeed concerned about the expansion of WIFI systems, I wonder what the SETI project thinks? Does anyone know if it makes any difference to them?

guided missiles? (1)

pfankus (535004) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908672)

...could interfere with various types of military radar systems, whether ones used for tracking storms, monitoring aircraft or guiding missiles and other weapons....5-gigahertz band that is eagerly sought by American technology companies and is already in civilian use internationally...

Nice..our missiles will only work domestically!

Won't someone think about the Whales? (3, Interesting)

Flamesplash (469287) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908678)

Apparantly this only works one way. There have been a lot of articles out lately about Navy sonar and other artificially generated waves interfering with Whale communications.

I wonder what they would do if the Whales went and destroyed facilities developing the devices that mess with them. Now if only they could get them to do the main development on ships, then the time of the Whale will come upon us. MWUAHAHAHAHA

This is about 5Ghz technology (5, Interesting)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908681)

Despite the misleading headline inserted by slashdot editors, the article refers to an"increasingly popular" wireless technology in the 5Ghz band.

The pentagon is not trying to poop on the wifi party. And they are not out to supress info transfers. They just want to make sure that a stupid irrversible giveaway of the wrong band does not take place. Apparently a lot of next generation radars need this band and depend upon a noise free environement. for example the article notes weather radar. Believe me getting a radar return of gas is very very difficult. Even high power radars are not the whole answer--the return signals are weak and fall off 1/r^2 limiting the range.

My fear is that the bush admin will give way to the coroprate interests. Microsoft is one of them mentioned in the article. these companies have dumped tons of money into campaign contributions. And the easy thing for the bush admin to do is to do nothing at all.

regardless of your misgivings about the department of defenses other activities, having good radar is a swell idea that we all can benenefit from.

presumably there might be some techno fix that could make all happy. But remember these radar systems take years to design. Its not just about making the latest up-to-date technology but also about quality assurance, standards and interoperability. So just saying they could be redesigned is not a valid response. You dont retrofit safety systems on a whim because some thinks they can make it better. Murphy's law will get you. And its often better to have standardized less than state of the art systems people know the limitiations of than a myriad of superior technologies they dont know the relaibaility of.

When we give up WiFi (2)

einstein (10761) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908687)

the terrorists have already won.

Ha ha! (and 1984) (3, Insightful)

famazza (398147) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908695)

Forget it! This will be another great technology that will no longer be avaiable in US.

But pay attention, acording to Goldenstein (984)continuous state of war serves as an excuse to cut civil rights avoiding protests!

Hot on the heels of terrorist Wi-Fi infiltration (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4908711)

Hello convienent excuse! [slashdot.org] . Now I know there is scientific basis behind the interaction of radio frequencies and sensitive electronics but for pete's sake. If the world was so delicate, terrorists would be setting up open APs near radar towers and leave the box cutter at home in lieu of a gameboy to play with during take-off.

The wrong target? (4, Interesting)

bald_spot (537892) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908715)

According to This article [hometoys.com] , The most important source of interference in the band is commercial microwave ovens, of which there are over 100 million in use in the US alone.

Cellphones vs. Stealth (1)

ENOENT (25325) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908718)

Given the recent news about stealth planes being detectable through clever application of cellphone networks, I wonder if the DoD response is somehow related. Maybe Starbucks' wifi sites are really part of a sinister plot to take over the world, and hold us all for a ransom of ONE MILLION DOLLARS!

Am I Missing Something? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4908722)

Why not just set up good old fashioned BBS's again? No, not the WWW message boards, the old dial up BBS's?

Wireless networking is for morons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4908737)

Think about it. You are broadcasting your network traffic to the public. Encryption is irrelevant, it can be busted. If you use wireless networking you are broadcasting your network traffic not only to your intended recipients, but also to the govt spies and law enforcement that are looking for *any* reason to label you a terrorist so they can bust you and make their bust record look good becuase you won't shoot back like a real terrorist would. You will be an "easy" bust, and another gold star on their report card. You are also a fool if you want to use wireless networking period.

Home radar jamming? (5, Informative)

OYAHHH (322809) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908744)

I've,

Done a lot of civilian radar track data analysis and I can tell you that radar data is already littered with LOTS (and I mean LOTS) of inaccuracy.

I've seen cases where the data loss was so bad that I can hardly imagine the situation where joe-schmoe-bin-ladin with his laptop and homemade radar jamming equipment could make it any worse.

It's one of those situations where if you knew what the ingrediants were you might not want to eat it.

I certainly don't have a problem with the DOD wanting to limit radio encroachments into vital wavelengths.

But, sometimes I get the feeling that the military is crying wolf when the wolf has been there the entire time and nobody in the know is brave enough to admit it.

First Post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4908745)

This post generated by FPyBot 0.0a

Already wireless available in airports... (2, Insightful)

MImeKillEr (445828) | more than 11 years ago | (#4908749)

....these [wayport.net] airports, to be exact.

Anyone ever hear of any planes crashing at any of these due to the 802.11 WAPs in use? No? I didn't think so.

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