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U.S. Makes Plans for GPS Shutdown

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the dead-reckoning dept.

United States 945

sailforsingapore writes "Apparently, President Bush is drawing up plans to disable sections of the GPS network in the event of a terrorist attack. The rationale seems to be that it would prevent said terrorists from using the GPS system to direct some sort of attack. The plan would shut down access not only to the GPS satellite network, but projects like the EU's Galileo. Ironically, this comes alongside the President's plan to strengthen the GPS network against deliberate jamming."

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Why is that ironic? (3, Insightful)

PhysicsGenius (565228) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103114)

Both actions make GPS harder to use as a weapon by our enemies.

Re:Why is that ironic? (2, Insightful)

spune (715782) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103142)

One action aims to stop jamming, the other aims to jam.

Re:Why is that ironic? (4, Insightful)

stupidfoo (836212) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103314)

It's quite different when a service provider stops people from using its service than it is when some third group stops people from using said service.

Re:Why is that ironic? (5, Insightful)

Sebastian Jansson (823395) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103143)

Hmm so if you can't jam the system what do you do?
Yes! You make a fake terrorist attack, send a mailbomb or something to the white house, with some luck they will take that as a terrorist attack and shut down the system.

Incorrect: Understand the way it's shut off (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11103144)

I believe that GPS can be selectively shut off for civillian uses ... so ... the military can still use it as they have the encryption codes to access the GPS data which is more accurate...

Re:Why is that ironic? (1)

sammykrupa (828537) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103178)

Yes. I agree with you.

Let's form a line (1, Insightful)

paranode (671698) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103190)

Everyone who says the government wasn't doing enough before 9/11 over here.

Everyone who says the government is doing too much after 9/11 over there.

Everyone who says both please insert gun in mouth and pull trigger.

Thank you.

Re:Why is that ironic? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11103282)

enemies? what enemies?

A question (1)

gandell (827178) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103124)

Has there been a successful trial of using GPS for military purposes such as remote missile launch, or is this all just conjecture?

Re:A question (1)

spac3manspiff (839454) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103187)

Does this have something to do with the horrid missile test failure yesterday.
Missile failure [msn.com]

Re:A question (1)

Kumorigoe (816912) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103191)

The military does use GPS in certain avionics packages, as a backup navigation system should the INS (Inertial Navigation System) fail.

Re:A question (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11103211)

from what i recall gps guided smart bombs have been used for quite a while now.

though missiles aren't the only use for gps. there are many military applications for qps. just letting your troops know where they are make it easier for them to call in air or artillery support, or just coordinate an attack with other troops. basically any reason a civillian finds gps useful is also useful for military purposes

Re:A question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11103226)

Yeah, because god knows you wouldn't want to base any of your strategic thinking on conjecture

*cough* weapons of mass destruction *cough*
*cough* 45 minutes *cough*
*cough* aiding terrorists *cough*

Re:A question (1)

gandell (827178) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103246)

It wasn't a commentary on application. It was more of a curiousity. I just haven't heard of any true application of smart bombs, and was hoping for links to articles on this.

wooohoo (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11103125)

first

Seems like a prudent thing to do. (2, Insightful)

Jerry (6400) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103130)

It can always be turned back on when the threat has passed, or selectively turned on at specific times to allow for a strategic response.

Re:Seems like a prudent thing to do. (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103170)

Not if your trying to escape from an occupied area, and your meeting up with a rescue team at designated coordinates.

Galileo? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11103131)

I though galileo would operate independantly of the US gps system?

Re:Galileo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11103199)

The EU also though that...

Re:Galileo? (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103204)

I though galileo would operate independantly of the US gps system?
Wouldn't interfering with another nations satellites be considered a hostile act?

Re:Galileo? (4, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103258)

It makes no mention of "how" they plan to do this. The mechanism could easily be simply to contact the EU, and, if neccesary present evidence that there will be a terrorist attack.

The EU and US may not get on with each other that well, but they're not going to be so churlish as to allow people to be killed by terrorists.

Re:Galileo? (5, Informative)

Darkon (206829) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103243)

The US and EU reached and agreement [bbc.co.uk] over mutual jamming capabilities:

These technical parameters will allow either side to effectively jam the other's signal in a small area, such as a battlefield, without shutting down the entire system.

I do not think that means what you think it means. (4, Insightful)

njfuzzy (734116) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103134)

What is ironic about controlling when your technology can and cannot be used. It seems like a system for shutting it down when necessary would go hand in hand with a system for making sure other's can't shut it down arbitrarily.

Existing capability? (4, Interesting)

thatguywhoiam (524290) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103136)

I thought they could shut down the GPS in sections at will already? Didn't they do this when they invaded Iraq (er, 2nd time)?

When Clinton allowed for more accurate GPS signals to be used by civilians, it sure seemed like they just flipped a switch one day and it was suddenly more accurate for everyone...

Re:Existing capability? (1)

nbert (785663) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103216)

AFAIK they repositioned the satelites before the war started in order to archive higher accuracy/reliability in this region.

My favorite computer magazine ran some tests and came to the conclusion that (at least in Europe) the side-effects on the civil signal were rather positive.

Its called WAAS (5, Informative)

flyingace (162593) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103223)

WAAS was demilitarized some time ago. This allows for much greater accuracy.

Read more about it
http://www.garmin.com/aboutGPS/waas.html

Re:Existing capability? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11103224)

what you are probably thinking about is called selective availability:
selective availability [wikipedia.org]

They could turn this on, yes but it won't make much of a difference. Differential GPS mitigates its effect (differential GPS is a system of ground based units to detect/correct GPS errors)

Re:Existing capability? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11103291)

We invaded Iraq before?

In related news... (4, Funny)

handmedowns (628517) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103141)

Demand for compases and maps have gone up 80%.

Re:In related news... (1)

StevenHenderson (806391) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103182)

Demand for compases(sic) and maps have gone up 80%.

If I knew what those strange antiquities were, my demand for them would surely rise.

Re:In related news... (1)

pklong (323451) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103254)

I'll be the one laughing at you in the distance when you're stuck miles from the nearest store with dead batteries.

When in doubt... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11103147)

...blame the evil republicans! It's just easier to assume the worst and put a bad spin on whatever they do, isn't it?

Yes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11103237)

They were too stupid and incompetent to protect you from 9/11 and now they are too paranoid and authoritarian to give you civil liberties while pretending to protect you from the next possible attack! Those bastards!

Re:When in doubt... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11103324)

Judging by their recent track record, it's not only easy to do, but it's generally the right spot for the blame.

Why? (3, Insightful)

StevenHenderson (806391) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103148)

They seemed to locate everything just fine on 9/11 w/o any GPS...

Re:Why? (1)

danheskett (178529) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103249)

Are you sure of that? I had read a number of times conjecture that some of the terrorists flying the planes weren't very good with the advanced avionics and instead relied on simple GPS destination mapping.

Re:Why? (1)

hab136 (30884) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103309)

I had read a number of times conjecture that some of the terrorists flying the planes weren't very good with the advanced avionics and instead relied on simple GPS destination mapping.

I've never heard that. Any references? This would be interesting if true.

Exactly! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11103281)

You would think the US government would know where it was without GPS!

Protests (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11103150)

Yeah, GPS will be shutdown during protests, and we all know it.

Great Idea (5, Insightful)

Spad (470073) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103152)

In the event of a terroist attack, cause large scale panic by shutting down a primary means of navigation.

What's next? Cutting off electricity so that the terrorists can't use it against people?

Re:Great Idea (1)

M3rk1n_Muffl3y (833866) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103172)

Hey don't knock it. At least now I'll have a decent reason for being late for work.

Re:Great Idea (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11103185)

Simple, nuke the terrorists! Sure, we might kill a few million of our own people, but hey, at least we averted the terrorist attack and a little collateral damage is always to be expected.

Re:Great Idea (2, Insightful)

Burb (620144) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103203)

Is GPS really a "primary" means of navigation for the average Joe? As opposed to, say, having a map or reading the signs on the freeway?

Re:Great Idea (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103277)

If your current map is a screen on your dash, and you've come to rely on it, then yes it is a primary means.

Its like telling people to go back to sliderules and charts instead of using a spreadsheet.

Re:Great Idea (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103283)

Exactly. I'm having trouble figuring out how terrorists are going to use GPS against us anyway. Can someone with a better imagination enlighten me?

Emergency Traffic Jams? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11103156)

We need to evacuate! Quick, make sure nobody knows where they're going!

Remember the Borg shields? (2, Insightful)

stuffduff (681819) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103157)

Instead of disabling portions of it, why not just give it a rolling encryption that the terrorists cannot decipher for a period of time greater than the duration of the attack? With our troops and weaponry increasingly dependent on the technology, the outcome could be much worse for us in that we could be left completely unable to respond to the attack. If we're going to think ahead, then let's really think about it!

Re:Remember the Borg shields? (1)

HeelToe (615905) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103195)

The military GPS system already runs on a rolling encryption system. This is not shutdown.

The clear system that is for non-military use would be shutdown.

Re:Remember the Borg shields? (1)

lxt (724570) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103231)

"With our troops and weaponry increasingly dependent on the technology, the outcome could be much worse for us in that we could be left completely unable to respond to the attack."

One would imagine the military would have some sort of "access code" or equipment - I honestly can't see the military allowing the government to shut down the entire GPS system, giving them no access at all...either that, or the rational is "if nobody uses it the playing field is level"...

If GPS fails, take cover (1)

ewg (158266) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103161)

So if you happen to be carrying redundant GPS receivers, and they happen to all fail simultaneously, take cover.

Drivers (1)

Soporific (595477) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103162)

How many drivers will get lost during these shutdowns I wonder? I doubt it will happen anytime soon, but I think all car nav systems use GPS.

~S

Re:Drivers (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103240)

Don't all your new US mobiles have GPS locators inside for 911 use?
When the President decides to disable it, people back home will die.

On a side note, how could they disable Galileo?

Re:Drivers (2, Funny)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103286)

Hard copy maps and, in extreme emergencies, stop and ask for directions?

What about (1, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103167)

Isn't GPS used to navigate ships and planes all over the world? Are they going to take the blame if they disable the GPS network, and an oil tanker runs aground, or a plane crashes? I think there's probably a lot of pilots out there would couldn't navigate if it weren't for their GPS.

Re:What about (1)

Soporific (595477) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103208)

I could be wrong on this, but I think most planes are required to have Jeppeson maps or an equivalent. And I also think pilots are required to be able to navigate without GPS using VFR or IFR.

~S

Re:What about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11103300)

vfr and ifr are operating modes. 'v' is for visual, 'i' is for instrument, 'fr' means "flight rules". as for jeppeson maps, they are just that, maps. You still need to be PLACED on the map, thats what gps does. planes DO use GPS and shutting down GPS would be a 'bad thing'. they do have alternates, but wholesale shutting down of GPS would bring transportation in this country to its knees. there have been similar plans ever since gps was first brought online. never used in North America.

Re:What about (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103304)

They may have been trained to use these maps, but have they kept up on their training? Would they remember how to use them when the time arises? There's people who can't do something as simple as division without a calculator. I wouldn't expect someone to remember how to navigate when the GPS system goes down.

All pilots (1)

neilb78 (557698) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103310)

are trained to navigate w/o GPS. GPS is nice and easy, but they do have procedures for navigating w/o it.

A lot of small private planes don't have it anyway.

Re:What about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11103229)

GPS is only an additional navigational system for ships and planes. Ships still use traditional nav systems, and IFR pilots still need to know how to use traditional VOR, RDB, and ILS systems.

That being said, it's very likely that plenty of GA pilots are going to be screwed because they haven't touched their VOR system since they bought a GPS unit.

Re:What about (1)

craznar (710808) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103272)

"Are they going to take the blame if they disable the GPS network, and an oil tanker runs aground, or a plane crashes?"

They could blame all those on terrorists as well...

Anybody remember those times... (1)

SoTuA (683507) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103298)

...when there was no GPS and lots of planes got lost and ships ran aground very frequently? No?

Me neither.

Re:What about (1)

Ev0lution (804501) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103305)

Isn't GPS used to navigate ships and planes all over the world?

In Europe, this is precisely the reason why GPS cannot be used as your sole aid to navigation. Other radio navigation aids, e.g. VOR or ILS, have defined quality of service agreements and a defined failure mode so that, if it fails unexpectedly, you know. GPS has neither - the USA can disable it or introduce errors at will. Hence GPS can be used as an aid to navigation, just not the only one.

I think there's probably a lot of pilots out there would couldn't navigate if it weren't for their GPS.

There shouldn't be - you're required to demonstrate an ability to navigate (without GPS) at every licence renewal.

When has Bush taken blame for anything? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11103313)

When has Bush taken blame for anything?

Uhh... (1)

Luigi30 (656867) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103168)

Doesn't the military rely on GPS? Wouldn't this make it harder for us to respond to "attacks"?

Re:Uhh... (1)

RoboRay (735839) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103257)

This is not news. GPS was designed from the ground up for the free public signals to be disabled for national security reasons. US military GPS systems would still function, as would the systems of any other US government agencies which are allowed to use the encrypted signals (like rescue or emergency-response teams). Only the non-encrypted public signals would be turned off.

Re:Uhh... (1)

mOoZik (698544) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103274)

No. There is a civilan signal and a military signal. The military signal always remains and expensive/classified equipment is used to decode the signals for the use by the armed forces.

This is stupid (3, Insightful)

DarthAle (83736) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103169)

Mostly terrorist attacks occur quickly and without warning, and by the time the authorities gets a clue about what is going on, the attack most likely is over - as per 9/11. Shutting down the GPS network in such an event would only make it infinitely harder for rescue workers and police to coordinate relief efforts.

Re:This is stupid (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103239)

to paraphrase Pizza the Hut (spaceballs) ... "Stupid for YOU, great for ME*"

*for cases of "ME" == "politician trying to look good" - because it makes it look like they're actually doing something, even though it's useless.

No controversy here (0, Troll)

amightywind (691887) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103171)

It is wise that Mr. Bush is doing this. With the success the US has shown with GPS guided weapons it is only a matter of time before terrorists begin to incorporate the technology. GPS/Galileo are potential weapons for US enemies. Planning to neutralize them in times of national emergency is the responsible thing to do.

Re:No controversy here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11103320)

Provided that he makes a decision in time instead of reading to school children as planes are flying into buildings.

Double-edged sword (1)

RealProgrammer (723725) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103174)

While it's probably a useful weapon to be able to shut down GPS, won't that hamper emergency response efforts? A little, anyway.

Maybe it's to disable autohoming bombs and small-plane attacks.

Whats the point of shutting down the system? (2, Interesting)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103183)

So after the attack, Bush is going to shut down the GPS system? How does that help anyone? Making it stronger against jamming is certainly a worthwhile pursuit, but shutting it down in response to a terrorist attack is just liable to have people wandering around lost, if not actively hindering rescue operations in fly-by-instrument situations.

Re:Whats the point of shutting down the system? (0)

jal-vani (840633) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103263)

It's shutting down sections of the system. It's not like they're throwing a switch, and all of the GPS satellites go dark and crash to the ground. Most likely, it would be selectively shut down to various sectors.

What about GLONASS (0)

Swampfeet (758961) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103184)

The russkie gps system?

So? (1)

Seehund (86897) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103198)

What's the news here?
Last I heard, GPS was designed and controlled by the US DoD, and the rest of the world only gets to use the system at their mercy. This is one reason to why e.g. my country's (Sweden's) defence forces don't "officially" use GPS, because it's a system that can be shut down on a whim of another military force.

Galileo (1)

SomethingOrOther (521702) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103200)


Wasn't the idea behind Galileo that us Europeans would have our own indipendent GPS system.

The idea being that if the US decides to do something silly and switch off sections of GPS, we wont be screwed?

Anyojne gotta link?

There's really nothing new here (4, Insightful)

mdpowell (256664) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103207)

The ability to selectively disable the network has long been a feature though usually it's spoken of in terms of disabling it over a (non-USA) battlefield. The govt. would be stupid to do this in all but the most serious emergency and then only for the shortest possible time.

I wonder what the per-hour or per-day economic impact of disabling GPS over a heavily poplulated USA region?

A decent number of aircraft/airports that use GPS approaches would have to go back to more primitive instrument landings (more delays); many trucking/shipping companies rely on GPS for tracking goods. Then there are surveyers and agriculture and such that may use GPS augmented with some local beacon for high accuracy.

What other key economic uses of GPS are there?

Re:There's really nothing new here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11103278)

I wonder what the per-hour or per-day economic impact of disabling GPS over a heavily poplulated USA region?
What other key economic uses of GPS are there?


Nothing big, just the rest of the world..

NO! (1)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103213)

No geocaching [geocaching.com] for you!

Similarities (2, Funny)

cra (172225) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103219)

Off topic, perhaps, but am I the only one that starts seeing parallels betwen USA/Bush vs Star Wars/The Emperor? It might be just my imaginations and/or one of my mood-swings, but things are getting scary "over there". . . .

Re:Similarities (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11103315)

And everyone thought that George Lucas was stupid, had "sold out" blah blah blah blather blather blather.

It now turns out that he has created the only credible, accurate and scathing attack on the state of the US and its true agenda for total domination by grand deception expressed through cinema.

Who is the stupid one now?

Uh. Not Quite. (-1, Offtopic)

CMiYC (6473) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103227)

Slashdot: "Apparently, President Bush is drawing up plans to disable sections of the GPS network in the event of a terrorist attack. "

Article: "President Bush has ordered plans for temporarily disabling the U.S. network..."

That doesn't sound like "drawing up" to me. That sounds like "its already done."

GPS Airport Approaches (3, Interesting)

Ann Elk (668880) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103236)

What about the growing number of airports that use GPS-only instrument approaches? Geezsh, why doesn't he just shut down the VOR and NDB systems while he's at it.

Besides, a Determined Terrorist could build their own ground-based DGPS-like system for specific targets without too much difficulty.

Re:GPS Airport Approaches (1)

Kumorigoe (816912) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103265)

As for the commercial pilots, I believe that they have to be instrument certified fo fly passenger planes. If the GPS is disabled, they have the INS and other instruments, as well as Line Of Sight.

GPS as weapon of mass destruction (1)

Zurgutt (131637) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103241)

Huge number of vehicles all over the world use GPS for navigating. Shutting it off will quite probably cause steady stream of direct and indirect deaths. Nice.

Re:GPS as weapon of mass destruction (1)

mOoZik (698544) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103308)

GPS doesn't drive and it doesn't cause people to stay alive. In terms of car navigation, all it does is tell poeple how to get from point A to point B. If you find yourself dead when this disappears, then you're doing the gene pool a favor.

What's the point in Galileo if Bush can switch it (2, Interesting)

Truth_Quark (219407) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103242)

off?

GPS is free to use (once you've got a handset), and there really is no value in reproducing it except to protect ourselves when our interests do not align with those of Mr Bush or whoever Diebold elects in the future.

The President's Plan ? ? ? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11103255)

Ironically, this comes alongside the President's plan to strengthen the GPS network against deliberate jamming.

And we're supposed to believe the President has a plan to harden security for the entire system?

The man can barely tie his own shoes!

More war on "Terrism" bullshit... (1)

M3rk1n_Muffl3y (833866) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103256)

Sounds like more govt BS to stir up siege mentality. I can't think of a single terrorist attack ever, which could have been prevented by switching off GPS. In the meantime any over-exagerated threat to national security just serves to boost govt power and their importance in the eyes of the meek.

Real impact? (3, Interesting)

thogard (43403) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103259)

Does the Whitehouse know that GPS is essential to timing many things such as the power grid?

I'm guessing this is some off the wall PR stunt to make people feel better that they can turn of GPS in an instant but the real facts are you can't shut down most of the sats unless they are in range of one of the few control stations and even then it might be a one way trip for some of the older ones.

Turning off GPS might just wipe out a great deal of mobile phones and other communications. It would be bad for aviation as well because one its turned off, there is no reason to ever turn it back on as far as pilots are concerned. And there is that small problem that the Europeans are building Galileo and the Russians still have GLONASS.

After seeing what Airbus is doing to Boeing and all the other military messes, I'm wondering who the politicians are working for because I know its not for the tax payers.

Bad Move... (1)

Blue Eagle 26 (683113) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103261)

Wouldnt Shutting off GPS after an attack somehow hinder emergancy services responding to the event?

Emergency Services, etc... (1)

xirtam_work (560625) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103266)

Don't any of the emergency services such as sea rescue (coastgaurd?), air ambulances (helicopters & choppers), etc. use GPS at all?

What about all the civilian air and sea traffic that uses it as well?

Seems a very dumb idea to me. Terrorists are unlikely to depend upon GPS data for attacks anyway. They know the location of the points they want to hit in advance wouldn't they?

And as for it shutting down the European GPS system as well (once it's built) that's just plain silly.

Because we all know. . . (1, Funny)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103284)

that a truck bomb needs GPS to find its target.

Shutting down Galileo? (1)

d_strand (674412) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103290)

How would they do that? The only way would be by jamming it, which is certainly possible but not as easy as it sounds because of the spread-spectrum stuff Galielo (and GPS I assume) is using.

Would probably cost alot of money to develop something that reliably jams Galileo, and I wonder if it wouldn't be easier (certainly cheaper) to just ask the EU Comission nicely. I mean, the EU is probably just as interrested in being able to shut down GPS if needed so a joint agreement of instant shutdown inside the US/EU borders in case of an emergency request would probably be better? I mean since the US would only ever want Galileo to be shutdown somewhere over US soil (and vice versa) it's not that big of a problem is it?

ugh stupid people (1)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103292)

we are talking about preventing jamming of encrypted military GPS signals and shutting down unencrypted civillian GPS signals. These are two different things. Now, how is that ironic? How are people confused?

Act of war against the European Union/Russia? (3, Insightful)

markdowling (448297) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103294)

Attempting to disable Galileo/GLONASS when the EU or Russia is not attacking might be considered a hostile act.

Closing the barn door after the horse is out (2, Interesting)

Theseus192 (787156) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103297)

If there is another significant terrorist attack inside the U.S., don't you think it would be too late for shutting down the GPS network to help anything?

The only way this would be useful would be if the government knew an attack was imminent, and knew the attackers were relying on GPS, and was so sure of their knowledge that they were willing to disrupt air traffic, shipping, traveling salesmen, and everyone trying to find their way to a party. In short, I think the likelihood of this ever being used is low, and the likelihood of it actually helping protect against terrorism is near zero.

I think this capability makes more sense as a bargaining chip to threaten other countries with in trade negotiations. Their commerce depends on the GPS system, too.

Has GWB lost it? (0)

cybrthng (22291) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103301)

Why did we spend MILLIONS for GPS location policies on Cell phones if we're going to shutdown GPS when its most needed? (post 9/11)

Why are we speaking of shutting down the tried and true radio becaons in lieu of GPS only to shut it down again, when it's most needed?

Transportation, Environmental Protection, Hobbyists and professionals alike rely upon and use GPS daily. Shutting them down or any attempt thereof is only points for the "terrorists"

How much time before Bush bans Rand McNally Maps & Globes?

I wonder (1)

jcern (247616) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103316)

how concepts like this: Will Our Cars Become Our Chauffeurs? [slashdot.org] would fare with the gps system shutdown.

It's amazing to me how many things are becoming more reliant on the gps system. just searching slashdot for gps reveals so many articles about the subject. I mean, what would parents do (Using GPS to Track Teens [slashdot.org] ) if they shut down the system?

Two GPS Signals (2, Informative)

sciop101 (583286) | more than 9 years ago | (#11103323)

GPS has two signals:

L1 is the signal civilian GPS signal used in your handheld GPS receiver or installed your car. This one Clinton made more accurate for everyone.

L2 is encrypted for use by US military and is extremely accurate. This system guides cruise missiles down smokestacks.

Turning off L1 would unsync timing signals to computer networks using GPS as Stratum 1 timing.

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