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WAR: Bush Prepares for Possible Shutdown of GPS Network in National Crisis

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posted on Dec, 16 2004 @ 01:15 AM
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President Bush has made plans for a temporary takedown of the G.P.S. system in the event of a national emergency. The takedown would prevent terrorist from using the system during this time. An anonymous spokesman stated that only under a extraordinary emergency would the system be blocked within the United States. The plan also extend to other navigational systems such as the European Union project Galileo.

 



abcnews.go.com
WASHINGTON Dec 15, 2004 President Bush has ordered plans for temporarily disabling the U.S. network of global positioning satellites during a national crisis to prevent terrorists from using the navigational technology, the White House said Wednesday.

Any shutdown of the network inside the United States would come under only the most remarkable circumstances, said a Bush administration official who spoke to a small group of reporters at the White House on condition of anonymity.

The GPS system is vital to commercial aviation and marine shipping.

The president also instructed the Defense Department to develop plans to disable, in certain areas, an enemy's access to the U.S. navigational satellites and to similar systems operated by others. The European Union is developing a $4.8 billion program, called Galileo.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


It actually makes sense and a article I posted a while back showed that there was evidence that they were already scrambling signals around key installations and nuclear plants. The other interesting part of this report is the mention of the Galileo system. It is unclear if the U.S. would request that the signals would stop or they would jam them.

Special Thanks To: LL1


Related AboveTopSecret.com Discussion Threads:
NEWS: U.S. Deploys Satellite Jamming System

[edit on 12/16/04 by FredT]




posted on Dec, 16 2004 @ 02:46 AM
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Something is just strange about this.
If terrorist or others are making use of GPS. I believe jamming of the systems should be made *before* any incidents.
It would appear unneccesary to jam it after the incident, no?

For instance 9/11- Jamming GPS could perhaps make it harder too hit the two towers, but if they knew it would happen, they should be able to stop the perpetrators before getting on a plane. Jamming the GPS after the towers where hit, would only be making things more difficult for aiding services and others. -Not the terrorists/perps. -They would be in paradise with their 12 virgins.



posted on Dec, 16 2004 @ 05:40 AM
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Well, well, well. President Bush is really the control freak these days. I just wonder if this proposed move is granted by Congress, how many people are going to die as a direct result? Have you ever had that strange feeling that you just knew that your civil rights were going to dissappear with the enactment of the Pat. Act ? Marshall Law is the new word of the day. It is only when this is enacted that those who are standing on the side-lines will begin to understand the full extent of our elected ones. I do know this: Stay informed because the very freedom we cherish on which our govt. and great nation was built on can be taken away in the blinking of an eye.



posted on Dec, 16 2004 @ 05:49 AM
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I read that there has been an agreement between the US and the EU about the GPS and Galileo systems. They are now to use similar technology so that both sides have the ability to block one anothers systems tranmissions if needed. A fair compramise.



posted on Dec, 16 2004 @ 05:55 AM
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I got the impression that a shutdown would only be under very specific or extreme circumstances, not whenever there happened to be a terrorist attack. I was thinking more along the lines of street warfare and martial law. Of course, that's what I assume the official reason would be. I'm sure there are agendas all over the place that we know nothing about.



posted on Dec, 16 2004 @ 06:23 AM
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I have found the link I was looking for:


Europe and the US have signed a deal to co-operate over satellite navigation.

It means the EU's planned Galileo system will be compatible with the US GPS - ending a trans-Atlantic dispute.

The agreement determines how Galileo's frequencies should be structured which, crucially, will allow signals to be jammed in war zones if necessary.


news.bbc.co.uk...


The change in 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.


As I said, I think it is a good compromise and will be of benefit to civilian systems and manufacturers also.



posted on Dec, 16 2004 @ 06:37 AM
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Not a bad idea, I would think the millitary could use their scrambled private GPS channels anyway during a crisis, this spells big problems however for the daughters of Tommy Hillfiger, who will lose proper directions driving to Tiffanies


Something else I would like to see in airplanes, is some kind of remote autoplilot control, that could overrule a hijacker pilot. Naturally anything remote controlled would open a door for hacking attempts, that's why I propose the autopilot could only be overruled to keep flying circles, so that interceptors can be flown in, or make a landing at the nearest millitary airport.



posted on Dec, 16 2004 @ 06:46 AM
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Originally posted by Countermeasures
Not a bad idea, I would think the millitary could use their scrambled private GPS channels anyway during a crisis, this spells big problems however for the daughters of Tommy Hillfiger, who will lose proper directions driving to Tiffanies


Something else I would like to see in airplanes, is some kind of remote autoplilot control, that could overrule a hijacker pilot. Naturally anything remote controlled would open a door for hacking attempts, that's why I propose the autopilot could only be overruled to keep flying circles, so that interceptors can be flown in, or make a landing at the nearest millitary airport.




Actually, this is not a bad idea. There are safeguards that can be put in place that would allow the pilot to override a remote autopilot - code protected over-ride onboard and such. If this were properly done this could allow a pilot to hand-over the minute the cockpit is breached or for the ground to take over the minute there is unacceptable deviation from flight plan accompanied by loss of communication or loss of transponder or SOS call, whatever.

To be quite honest, I don't have a lot of concerns about hacking, not if this is properly done. In other words, this ability would not be available to just any flight controller or any computer any where, but at a centralized location. Basically you are talking about an emergency MCC (mission control center) for commercial aircraft.



posted on Dec, 16 2004 @ 06:53 AM
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www.newscientist.com...
Former US president Bill Clinton made military-grade GPS available to the public on 1 May 2000. Previously, civilian GPS signals from the US satellites were "downgraded", reducing their accuracy fivefold from the military precision of 20 metres to 100 metres. But Clinton also stated that "should an occasion arise in which it is in our interests to block GPS on a regional basis, we will have the ability to do so".

The Pentagon spokesman said any decision to block GPS would need to be taken at the very highest level, between President George Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, the defense secretary and Tommy Franks, commander of the US forces. "To reverse Clinton's executive order would be a very serious decision," he said.

But satellite experts contacted by New Scientist say a regional blackout is relatively easy to achieve, and that the US has the technical capability to do it.

"We know that various jamming tests have occurred with that technology," says Richard Langley, a GPS expert at the University of New Brunswick in Canada. "And it's mature enough that they could deploy it in a theatre of war." He suspects the technology has already been used in Afghanistan to deny GPS to Taliban forces.

Wide bandwidth
Langley says the civilian GPS signal relies on a so-called " coarse/acquisition code" (c/a), which enables a receiver to determine the distance to the satellite. But the US military relies on the "precise code" (p).

The p code is transmitted over a much wider bandwidth than the c/a code explains Langley: "So you can jam the narrower c/a code without jamming the wider signal."

Jammers can be deployed on mountaintops or tall antennas, but it is probably most economical to place them aboard aircraft. Langley thinks the US might also use "spoofing", in which fake signals fool the GPS receiver into thinking it is somewhere else.


They have had the ability to blank out areas from GPS for a long time. The plans for blacjout have been available since the military opened up the GPS system for private and commercial use. They simply don't do it because of the far reaching iplications of such an act. Thats why it would have to be a very serious situation. GPS is used very heavily in many high tech and low tech industries, not just for the lost motorist in a car.



[edit on 12/16/2004 by Notme]



posted on Dec, 16 2004 @ 07:44 AM
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Originally posted by invent4u2
Well, well, well. President Bush is really the control freak these days.


Actually CLINTON thought of it first. (yep, surprised me that
the anti-Military Clinton would have thought of this logical step
in America's self defense) So .... if you want to throw 'control
freak' out .... best aim at CLINTON first.
Or is it just
because you don't like the Bush that you tossed out 'control
freak' and now that you know Clinton wanted it first, it's now
okay???



posted on Dec, 16 2004 @ 08:33 AM
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I don't like how the general mood of this thread is that a GPS is the critical componant of navigation in an aircraft. It isn't! Sure, it may be for the doctor with a Malibu or some other million dollar aircraft, but for the most part airliners still rely on those ancient things called instruments, even if most of them are on digital displays now.

Any pilot with a chart can get anywhere. What do you think they used before all thses nifty inventions? Just charts, a compass, and MAYBE an airspeed indicator. So knocking out the GPS system wouldn't really do much in the long run. Sure, it might mess a few people up at first, but do you really think a terrorist wouldn't have some sort of backup plan in case something like that were to happen?

As for other industries, or people in their luxury cars, a GPS is just as critcal. They can all still function without one. Sure, it may make things harder for a brief bit, but they did get along just fine without them before GPSs were introduced not too long ago.



posted on Dec, 16 2004 @ 07:36 PM
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Not being a pilot or knowing anything, really, about airplanes, this news item definitely struck me as weird...as in, very very weird, for the reasons people have said above: it's not clear how turning GPS off hurts terrorists in mid-attack more than it hurts the populace at large / first responders / etc...the people who seem to know what they're talking about are pointing out that GPS isn't as critical as some others are saying, especially with notice that it might be offline for a while, but even so this is just weird -- there's probably 10 things I can think of off the top of my head that'll do more and be less hassle.

Airplane experts: does autopilot / fly-by-computer / autonavigation (whatever the right term is) critically rely on GPS? (ie, I know human pilots can fly the old fashioned way, but when planes have the autopilot systems how well can the plane fly itself without GPS?)

I've found it a good exercise to try and figure out a worldview/scenario/motivation, etc., that makes sense and sounds reasonable when someone does something you don't understand...whether or not you wind up "buying" the explanation, it's good mental exercise. Like i said above, to me this gps announcement is "news of the weird" or just plain weird news -- it doesn't make a whole lot of sense at all. I tried to figure out what would make it make sense, and here goes (keep in mind I don't really buy the following):

I'm sure on this board a lot of us have heard the 9/11 conspiracy theory that the hijacked planes weren't hijacked by hijackers, but were "flown by wire" to their destinations, maybe with sleeping gas knocking out the pilots and crew. Say that was what actually happened -- persons unknown somehow or another got the planes to autopilot themself to a destination -- if that was the case, and you were expecting a similar kind of attack soon, saying "look, we might turn the gps off" basically says "if you're planning to do that again, it's not going to work, so don't bother". Also, depending on how the autopilot systems worked, turning off the GPS might trigger some kind of "do not crash, fly in circles until signal resumes mode" and thus further help prevent the attack (airplane people: do you know if autopilot systems work that way?).

So, if you're expecting someone to somehow launch an attack by hijacking a plane's autopilot (and somehow disabling the crew / radio systems / etc) and have the plane autopilot itself to its destination, announcing that you might turn GPS off in a national emergency is a pretty good way to prevent an attack like that -- it sends a warning that you'd have to try a different strategy.

To me, the scenario above makes the GPS stuff make logical sense. I want to repeat my disclaimer that I don't really buy the above-mentioned 9/11 conspiracy theory and i'm not saying that i think this scenario is necessarily the actual explanation -- i'm just saying that this is an explanation that (to me) "hangs together" and makes logical sense.

Hopefully those knowledgable about airplanes and so forth can critique this a bit -- a lot of its "making-senseness" depends on my assumptions about how autopilot works -- or hopefully someone else can suggest a better explanation for why the gps announcement; are there other, better rationales for cutting off GPS to hinder a terrorist attack?



posted on Dec, 16 2004 @ 07:41 PM
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Originally posted by sisonek
Airplane experts: does autopilot / fly-by-computer / autonavigation (whatever the right term is) critically rely on GPS? (ie, I know human pilots can fly the old fashioned way, but when planes have the autopilot systems how well can the plane fly itself without GPS?)


There were autopilots before GPS wern't there? And if it was a terrorist attack I'm sure they wouldn't spend time trying to program to the Capital Building's coordinates into it when they could just fly to it.



posted on Dec, 16 2004 @ 08:07 PM
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cmdkeenkid:

were there autopilots pre-GPS? what capabilities did they have? are they still in use?

(I guess I'm thinking of something able to fly the whole plane, more or less...could the pre-GPS units navigate, or just stick to a course...I really don't know anything at all about aircraft)

Like I said in my earlier post, I'm trying to get this idea shot down; it's overly complicated and seems a pretty unlikely scenario to me, but I can't think of any other reason turning off GPS in the middle of or immediately after a terrorist attack makes any sense at all.



posted on Dec, 16 2004 @ 08:27 PM
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What?

You mean I could be in the middle of nowhere and be lost indefinetively because Bush thinks it is national emergency?

I dont' know if terrorists use GPS, but I know a lot of civilians do.

Surf



posted on Dec, 16 2004 @ 10:06 PM
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You people wouldnt know mind control, or a booming dictatorship if it bit you all in the ars.

Enjoy the ride.



posted on Dec, 17 2004 @ 06:20 PM
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Originally posted by sisonek
cmdkeenkid:

were there autopilots pre-GPS? what capabilities did they have? are they still in use?

(I guess I'm thinking of something able to fly the whole plane, more or less...could the pre-GPS units navigate, or just stick to a course...I really don't know anything at all about aircraft)


That's what In was just stating in my last post, that there were autopilots before the dawn of GPSs. I don't know how well they could navigate, but I believe some models could. They just used gyroscopes, which have been around for ages and are insanely simply, even if they look complicated.

As for them being in use, yes I would have to say they are. Not everyone can afford the autopilots that use GPS.


Originally posted by surfup
You mean I could be in the middle of nowhere and be lost indefinetively because Bush thinks it is national emergency?


If you are in the middle of no where and have a GPS, then you should have had enough sense to bring along a compass and map too. Anyone who has used a GPS knows that there isn't ALWAYS enough satellites in range for the GPS to work.

And if you don't have a map and compass, there are always the stars and the Sun.



posted on Dec, 17 2004 @ 08:40 PM
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I note that several members here seem to doubt the usefulness of blocking GPS. Since I would probably be a very good terrorist if in fact Uncle Sam ever needed terrorists in his employ, I can dream up a few ways in which GPS would be useful to a terrorist. I would be semper-pissed if they went overboard (for example if they tried to register GPS transponders so that they knew who owned each one and where it was at all times, or if they started making routine blackouts of the system whenever the hairs on the back of their neck stood up) but short of that I think its only prudent. Americans have some great technology at their fingertips and almost no limits on their use of it. That can be extremely dangerous- just look at what the Iraqis can do with the older materials available to them.

I'll start with the boring and simple answer: 9/11 targeted buildings that you can see from very far away. They couldnt' find the White House when they wanted to. You can use GPS to make more specific strikes. Next time an aircraft turns off its transponder and deviates from its course, heading for Washington, DC we scramble the GPS signals serving that area and the terrorists can't find their target, so they end up crashing it into the pentagon like last time, with little or no effect really.

GPS can be used for mapping targets inside of a large building and then bringing an attack in on exactly that spot. You map out the location of the target in the building. Now you can either use an improvised GPS guided weapon to attack that spot, or you can fire a "dumb" weapon blind by using the GPS coordinates of your firing position and the target.

If you're good with computers and electronics the modern marvel of palm-sized computers and wireless internet combined with GPS and some slight modifications to standard remote-control airplane equipment gives you a guidance system with which you can direct a do-it-yourself cruise missile. Again though, as soon as this unauthorized aircraft enters any restricted airspace they can kill my guidance system by scrabling GPS.

GPS can be used to track and centrally coordinate the movement of fighting teams not in communication with one another and for directing their movement through a building with which they are not familiar. Remember in The Matrix how Tank and Dozer were always keeping everyone a step ahead on where they were and where they should go? Same thing.

GPS MAY be useful as a detonator in situations where other signals would be scrambled. Suppose I'm an Iraqi terrorist, but I'm gay or i just dont like virgins so i dont want to be a martyr... instead i fill my neighbors car trunk up with explosives before he goes downtown to buy groceries. I can't detonate it remotely because US troops have learned that trick now- so my coward arse is out of luck. But then I have an idea- the greatest idea since domesticated camels (just as I'm thinking that, a camel spits on me). I am undeterred though, because the idea is brilliant and I hate Americans so much that being spit on by a camel is a small price to pay. I go out, I note the coordinates of a checkpoint and rig a GPS device to give the detonator signal via hardwire when it reaches the appropriate coordinates, now I can blow up my neighbor when he reaches the checkpoint and I wont have to go to paradise with those annoying virgins. Immediately afterward I rig a similar explosive device to that camel that spit on me so that I can avenge myself on the camel and the Americans at the same time.



posted on Dec, 17 2004 @ 11:04 PM
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Originally posted by surfup
You mean I could be in the middle of nowhere and be lost indefinetively because Bush thinks it is national emergency?


Well Pilgrim that why you should have been a boy scout. Unless the polls flip nothing can beat a good old compass and a USGS 7.5" Quad. Or a AAA map.

Edit:

Im kind of surprised by the direction of this to say the least. Not a mention about other systems. What if say the EU refuses to take down the Gallileo system and the US does it for them? Or GLOSNAS (or whats left of it?)

[edit on 12/17/04 by FredT]



posted on Dec, 17 2004 @ 11:07 PM
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Originally posted by dgtempe
You people wouldnt know mind control, or a booming dictatorship if it bit you all in the ars.


:shk: Here is the problem. This is a legitamate responce to a potential terrorist event. As are FEMA plans for disasters. Let me ask you this: would you be out protesting if a Hijacker or car bomber etc ususes GPS to target something elese and the government let them?



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