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    Re: Dependence on GPS
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2009 Oct 31, 20:55 -0700

    Lu, you wrote:
    "In the GPS World article, it was noted that a jammer emitting only milliwatts 
    of power could jam GPS over an area of several miles; such a transmitter 
    would be almost impossible to locate -- and its low power consumption would 
    allow it to run for weeks on ordinary batteries. Aircraft navigation is 
    becoming increasingly dependent on GPS; imagine putting one of these in a 
    piece of checked luggage on an airliner!!"
    Yeah, there are lots of scenarios that one can imagine. How about just walking 
    through the neighborhoods of Long Beach (or Shanghai) for a few weeks 
    dropping off dozens of these things in scattered locations. Then you throw 
    the switch... Or you put them in common electronic devices destined for 
    containerized shipping. Then when the English Channel is full of afflicted 
    containers... For that matter, GPS tagging is apparently widely used to track 
    containers within the shipping yards. Just jamming the land-based facilities 
    of a major port would cause an enormous and expensive disruption.
    And you wrote:
    "For a real-world story about the vulnerability of GPS to even 
    inadvertent jamming and the difficulty of identifying the jammer, one 
    has to look no further than the story of the jamming of GPS signals in 
    Moss Landing Harbor in California."
    And yet, there it stands: Moss Landing is the poster-child for GPS jamming 
    even after all these years (this incident was eight years ago). If this were 
    really a common problem, then we should be able to find some harbor right now 
    suffering from accidental GPS jamming. GPS jamming is a real issue, but so 
    far it appears to be a very low probability problem. Will that change in the 
    next few years? I think so, because there's so much money in it. It's bound 
    to attract the attention of criminals of all stripes.
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