GPS dependent UK can be dismantled instantly by terrorists

March 8th, 2011 - 5:47 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Mar 8 (ANI): Engineers have warned that the Global Positioning Satellites (GPS) navigation system, on which Britain is greatly dependent, is vulnerable and could be misused by terrorists to create chaos in almost all banks, emergency services, power plants and airports in the country.

Satellite navigation technology is incorporated in almost all aspects of our lives, from ambulances and air traffic control, to banking and the transport of food.

However, the system, which relies on a network of satellites broadcasting radio signals to Earth, is worryingly vulnerable to man-made jammers, space weather and technical glitches, the Daily Mail reports.

The paper quoted Professor Martyn Thomas, Chairman of the Royal Academy of Engineering’s working group, as saying that an accidental or deliberate system failure could ‘just conceivably cause loss of life’.

“The UK is already dangerously dependent on GPS,” which along with “other global navigation satellite systems are so useful and so cheap to build into equipment that we have become almost blindly reliant on the data they give us,” he said.

“A significant failure of GPS could cause lots of services to fail at the same time, including many that are thought to be completely independent of each other,” Professor Thomas added.

The Royal Academy of Engineering report has warned that GPS back-up systems are often inadequate, but the equipment that can jam the system is quite cheap and easily available.

Lorry, van and company car drivers can reportedly buy a jammer on the Internet for merely 20 pounds to temporarily disable the GPS units in their vehicles, which tell bosses their location, the report added.

It further called on the regulator Ofcom to ban such equipment, and urged the Government to carry out tests with deliberate jamming of signals to give some idea of the impact of a widespread failure. (ANI)

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