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New Bush prepares plan to disable GPS system

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.

The military increasingly uses GPS technology to move troops across large areas and direct bombs and missiles. Any government-ordered shutdown or jamming of the GPS satellites would be done in ways to limit disruptions to navigation and related systems outside the affected area, the White House said.

``This is not something you would do lightly,'' said James A. Lewis, director of technology policy for the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies. ``It's clearly a big deal. You have to give them credit for being so open about what they're going to do.''

President Clinton abandoned the practice in May 2000 of deliberately degrading the accuracy of civilian navigation signals, a technique known as ``selective availability.''

The White House said it will not reinstate that practice, but said the president could decide to disable parts of the network for national security purposes.
The day it comes to this I will whip out my sextant and leave for good. National security my ass.

"The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them."     --Albert Einstein

"This is still a dangerous world. It's a world of madmen and uncertainty and potential mental losses."     --George W. Bush
Expand Edited by tuberculosis Aug. 21, 2007, 12:47:32 PM EDT
New Just means we now have to worry about...
...someone shutting down the GPS as an act of terrorism.
New Hope no one's on a GPS approach when that happens.

Eine Leute. Eine Welt. Ein F\ufffdhrer.
(Just trying to be accepted in the New America)
New GPS needed now more than ever!
Exhibit A, from today's SF Chronicle review of the new Flight of the Phoenix remake:
The changes in the remake are a sign of the times. The first Phoenix crashed in the Sahara, in the vicinity of Iraq, which wouldn't do with a war raging there.

Sahara in the vicinity of Iraq? How about the Sonora Desert in the vicinity of Venezuela, or for that matter Reykjavik in the vicinity of the Cotswalds?

Film folk and critics need all the help they can get. Do we really want to return to the bad old days of Krakatoa, East of Java? Save GPS!—because otherwise The Terrorists Win.

Die Welt ist alles, was der Fall ist.
New Oh, for a real terrorist organisation
If terrorists were better organised, they'd stick some explosives and a GPS receiver in an ultra-light, fly it near some landmarks at random occasions and laugh as the Pentagon disrupts transportation yet again.
Matthew Greet

But we must kill them. We must incinerate them. Pig after pig, cow after cow, village after village, army after army. And they call me an assassin. What do you call it when the assassins accuse the assassin? They lie. They lie and we must be merciful to those who lie.
- Colonol Kurtz, Apocalypse Now.
     Bush prepares plan to disable GPS system - (tuberculosis) - (4)
         Just means we now have to worry about... - (ChrisR)
         Hope no one's on a GPS approach when that happens. -NT - (mmoffitt)
         GPS needed now more than ever! - (rcareaga)
         Oh, for a real terrorist organisation - (warmachine)

Don't touch that button!
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