Log in

View Full Version : Military Seeks Restrictions on Wi-Fi


Janak Parekh
12-17-2002, 07:01 PM
<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://www.nytimes.com/2002/12/17/technology/17WIRE.html?8bhp' target='_blank'>http://www.nytimes.com/2002/12/17/t...7WIRE.html?8bhp</a><br /><br /></div><i>(link requires registration)</i> This was bound to happen in the interest of "national security": the US military is worried that consumer Wi-Fi technologies will interfere with their own radio and radar infrastructure, and is particularly looking to delay the opening of additional 5-GHz radio spectrum. They're especially concerned about the new frequency-hopping technologies to be established in those bands.<br /><br />Sigh. :? Where do I start with this? First, this would be a major blow to the wireless and technology industries in the US - the future is wireless. Second, the military can only regulate US airspace. It's not like European airspace, or even Canadian/South American airspace, is under jurisdiction, so by restricting use they're only going to stifle US innovation and communication, while getting only very limited benefits. Third, if anything, potential "enemies" would be smart enough to fly "under the radar", restrictions or not. Fourth, are they just restricting as much as they can in the name of national security, or is it legitimate? For what it's worth, the article says there have been no reported conflicts so far.

dochall
12-17-2002, 07:16 PM
Sadaam has been seen trying to buy a load of wireless gear, pcs and copies of UT2003.

He's having a LAN Party to ensure that in the event of an invasion the US forces can't speak to each other. :P

Feels like the airlines saying that my $100 cell phone can me their $40m plane fall out of the sky. Worrying.

mookie123
12-17-2002, 07:31 PM
I've heard the Japanese airwave is even more crowded. the WiFi can only get several channels over there.

how do they managed it in Japan with the a version? I would imagine that frequency is full already.

jdavis
12-17-2002, 07:42 PM
All of these panic statements regarding wi-fi are quite rediculous. I read a post earlier with one person ranting how wi-fi is now labled a "terrorist tool," and going on about removal of rights ect ect ect.

Give me a break. The government is being extremely sensible in this matter. They KNOW wi-fi is the future otherwise there'd be nothing done about it. What is generally being done by the secret service, is that they are testing wi-fi networks and looking for potential openings. You have to be extra cautious with wi-fi to make sure there aren't security holes. Everyone is yelling 'foul' over the gov. trying to make sure wi-fi will be under control in the future. There is no conspircy to put government restrictions on wi-fi.

Educate yourself and stop panic ranting.

Janak Parekh
12-17-2002, 07:50 PM
What is generally being done by the secret service, is that they are testing wi-fi networks and looking for potential openings. You have to be extra cautious with wi-fi to make sure there aren't security holes.
Explain to me how an open, consumer Wi-Fi network is a terrorist security hole. It's one thing if the Pentagon has open AP's. But how is a consumer Wi-Fi connection different from, say, walking into a university and plugging into one of their Ethernet ports? So their own machine is compromisable. Big deal -- it's a bad thing for the consumer, but it's not like the terrorist is gaining anything.

In any case, this article, which is completely different, is no panic ranting. It's real. The military wants the FCC to slow down the opening of spectrum. Spectrum is what we need for the next generation of Wi-Fi and 3G.

--janak

Jonathan1
12-17-2002, 07:54 PM
If the gov would get their collectives heads together and implement spread spectrum across the US this would be a non issue. :?

mike6024
12-17-2002, 07:59 PM
All of these panic statements regarding wi-fi are quite rediculous. I read a post earlier with one person ranting how wi-fi is now labled a "terrorist tool," and going on about removal of rights ect ect ect.


That's pretty funny considering I work for a government/military contractor and have worked on wireless projects (involving Pocket PCs too) and most times they specifically want to use 802.11b.

JvanEkris
12-17-2002, 08:06 PM
The thing that worries me is that people are unaware of the side-effects of technology they use:


Feels like the airlines saying that my $100 cell phone can me their $40m plane fall out of the sky. Worrying.

I worked in the airline industry: a cell phone can crash a plane. A cell phone creates enough interference on the data-wires (there are hunderds of kilometers of cable in a plane, basically being an huge antenna for YOUR cel phone) to distort every major circuit in the plane enough to get it into trouble. If you ever saw the effect on data-transmission on one cable alone, you're cured from this idea forgood. Although shielding helps, it may not be relied on: one crack in the shielding suffices to disturb all transmission.

A good pilot knows how to deal with it just in time to stop it from crashing, but i would not take that chance if i was you.

Jaap

Kaber
12-17-2002, 08:09 PM
When the avalanche starts, it is too late for the pebbles to vote.

It isn't panic when things keep getting more restricted in a country which labels itself the most free and democratic.

They should change the inscription on the statue of liberty to "Welcome to the Federal Republic of America. You are being watched."

Jonathan1
12-17-2002, 08:14 PM
Explain to me how an open, consumer Wi-Fi network is a terrorist security hole. It's one thing if the Pentagon has open AP's. But how is a consumer Wi-Fi connection different from, say, walking into a university and plugging into one of their Ethernet ports? So their own machine is compromisable. Big deal -- it's a bad thing for the consumer, but it's not like the terrorist is gaining anything.

--janak

The diff Janak is that you have to be physically located in the building to access an actual computer terminal. With WIFI you could be sitting across the parking lot, street, or even the city in your car while you attempt a hack. Heck a persistent hacker/cracker could run around town mapping out vulnerable AP's and then jump from one AP to another while continuing to attempt a hack. This makes it more difficult then even trying to trace a cell phone modem connection since you don't know where he/she/they are going to show up next.
But this isn't the fault of wireless. Itís the fault of the person who should be doing something to secure:
-The network the hacker/cracker is trying to break into.
-The network the hacker/cracker has hijacked.

There should be a bit of due-diligence when it comes to setting up a wireless AP. And there should be accountability. If itís found that a hacker has damaged or penetrated someoneís network/server/computer/etc from your home network and you didnít bother to implement even the most rudimentary of security you deserve to be fined and punished. Personally I donít think people should have to have RADIUS authentication on each network and have to have security anally tight but there should be some measures taken.

Janak Parekh
12-17-2002, 08:16 PM
They should change the inscription on the statue of liberty to "Welcome to the Federal Republic of America. You are being watched."
Fortunately, we're not quite there yet. For what it's worth, we're nowhere near the loss of liberty from the McCarthy era or the WWI era. Assuming the "war on terrorism" ends, rights will probably be given back; that's what's historically happened. However, it's not clear yet how long this "war" will go on.

Also, electronics consumers are making it clear to the federal government how such actions by the military would negatively affect their business. In the current war, a healthy economy is the most important thing, so I do believe market forces will force things to be more open than during a strict wartime environment.

--janak

szamot
12-17-2002, 08:19 PM
When you go around pissing people off around the globe, eventually paranoia is the only self defense mechanism you are left with. I feel for the American people - I thought the Canadian government was a bunch yahoos I was wrong. It seems to me that at this rate by next Christmas it will be illegal for anyone to inhabit this planet except a bunch of trigger happy paranoid US soldiers.

Janak Parekh
12-17-2002, 08:20 PM
Heck a persistent hacker/cracker could run around town mapping out vulnerable AP's and then jump from one AP to another while continuing to attempt a hack.
But this is the difficult way to gain anonymity. There are already various technologies which ride on top of IP to make one's network interactions difficult, if not impossible to trace. There are already so many vulnerable machines on the Internet today that can be used as a launching pad. 802.11b only gives a very limited opportunity compared to these.

As to physical security, there's been several articles pointing out to corporations that the biggest threat is not from outside, it's from breaches of the physical network inside. While this is usually from a disgruntled employee, it's not too hard to play some social engineering to gain access to a corporate network.

If itís found that a hacker has damaged or penetrated someoneís network/server/computer/etc from your home network and you didnít bother to implement even the most rudimentary of security you deserve to be fined and punished.
OK - if that's the case - your concern will not be 802.11b, but rather the DDOS-based attacks launched because your kid installed game X that includes a special backdoor. I do a lot of consulting, and the average consumer has at least 2-3 pieces of spyware. It would not be difficult to construct spyware with backdoors; in fact, you might consider the BDE client to be one. This is the easy way to do it.

It would be nice to come up with a compromise set of legislation that causes people to be more careful with their machines, and for software vendors to ensure they put the proper security mechanisms in place. It's not easy to do so, however, without going over the line.

--janak

szamot
12-17-2002, 08:31 PM
What if the ďwar on terrorismĒ will never end, what if this is not a war after all? What will happen to all the liberties that people have given up. This whole mumbo jumbo about war on terrorism has gross overtones of the Spanish Inquisition, we will kill everyone who does not agree with out value set, yet there is no visible enemy in sight. Letís face is ďwar on terrorismĒ is US governmentís way of building up their own economy back, under the banner of freedom. It seems that every president needs to have a war to prove themselves. It would be more prudent to focus their ďwar effortĒ on corporate theft like Enron and the like but that would take balls to admit to fault. War on terrorism is an utopia feeding itself on the frenzy of paranoia. After all, he who controls the information controls today, the future and the past.

Kaber
12-17-2002, 08:31 PM
I suppose if someone stole my car because I left it unlocked and then used my car in the commission of a crime, I am partly liable becuase I didn't take security procedures seriously.


This is the kind of war that creates its own enemies. There will be no end.


Wardriving is not a crime! (http://home1.gte.net/res02afy/kaberwd.jpg)

sponge
12-17-2002, 08:33 PM
Did anyone here actually read the article? This has nothing to do with WIFI being used as terrorist tool, and this isn't much to do with the war on terror. Outside of a couple people, everyone missed the point of the article it seems.

WIFI signals jammed 10 types of RADAR.

That's fact. So what, we shouldn't have any RADAR, because it might hurt our freedom? Evading the RADAR systems isn't as easy as flying at a certain altitude, it's very hard to do, especially for all but the richest countries. So, we should have a nonfunctional defense, all because you want internet on your laptops?

I don't know about you, but I'd much rather know about incoming projectiles, than be able to check my e-mail anywhere I go.

People get way too caught up in badmouthing the government with uneducated statement, and assume everyone is trying to take our freedom away.

Also note the article says limit. That doesn't mean no WiFi for anyone, it means you probably won't be able to throw up a system that spans miles, like that town in CO for example. They aren't worried, like the news update states, they KNOW for sure that this happens.

Yes, the NYT put it's usual war on terrorism spin on it, but that's not the only reason they did this.

Creativity will be stifled a lot more if we miss one missle because some bozo needs his internet everywhere he goes.

There are other battles worth fighting, this is not one of them.

Janak Parekh
12-17-2002, 08:39 PM
WIFI signals jammed 10 types of RADAR.
No, that's not what it said. The DoD asserts that WiFi technology could theoretically unintentionally jam radar. There is currently no evidence to prove the assertion.
So far, though, there have been no reports of civilian wireless Internet use interfering with military radar, Edmond Thomas, chief of the office of engineering and technology for the Federal Communications Commission, said.
And as someone earlier said, the military itself does a ton of research on Wi-Fi. DARPA sponsors many research projects, and they're actually quite excited about the use of Wi-Fi technology to make their systems more mobile.

Honestly - nothing's that simple. :)

--janak

Kaber
12-17-2002, 08:40 PM
Its all about security isn't it? Securing profit.

I'll stop ranting now. I know it isn't welcome and its off topic.

don dre
12-17-2002, 08:51 PM
I'd be trigger happy too if I was always being stationed places where people want to kill you. Let's just hope the gov has proof before they start banning stuff. the war on terror will be no more succesful than the war on drugs, which is to say the monetary costs and the costs of losing freedoms will far outweigh any benefits. and on top of it all, we will ruin a few countries and keep them in poverty trying to attain our goals. I love the electronics industry for the moslty self governing industry it is. it is remarkable how easily standards are formed and pursued even though it may seem like they are not in the short run.

DaleReeck
12-17-2002, 08:56 PM
While I think we need to be harsh in fighting the war on terrorism, I am also beginning to worry that the "war on terrorism" will be used as an excuse for doing a lot of stuff. Recently, W. just cancelled the pay raises for some federal workers for "national security interests". I'm sorry, but there are other ways to get funding than by cutting down raises for hard working people. Well, mostly hard working :) Ironically, there didn't seem to be any national security concerns when Congress voted itself another pay raise recently. I guess living on only $150,000 a year is too tough a sacrifice to make for the good of the country.

Newsboy
12-17-2002, 09:15 PM
The thing that worries me is that people are unaware of the side-effects of technology they use:


Feels like the airlines saying that my $100 cell phone can me their $40m plane fall out of the sky. Worrying.

I worked in the airline industry: a cell phone can crash a plane. A cell phone creates enough interference on the data-wires (there are hunderds of kilometers of cable in a plane, basically being an huge antenna for YOUR cel phone) to distort every major circuit in the plane enough to get it into trouble. If you ever saw the effect on data-transmission on one cable alone, you're cured from this idea forgood. Although shielding helps, it may not be relied on: one crack in the shielding suffices to disturb all transmission.

A good pilot knows how to deal with it just in time to stop it from crashing, but i would not take that chance if i was you.

Jaap

Jeez, posts like this should be deleted. There is no direct evidence that a digital cell phone can cause a failure of any of an aircraft's electrical systems. Another case of checking the sources of your evidence before you believe them. Check Wired.com's (http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,41273-2,00.html) report on this story before you listen to Japp.

And after you read that, next time you get on a plane and see someone with a hearing aid (like me!)...don't walk, RUN TO THE EXIT!!! :lol:

sponge
12-17-2002, 09:19 PM
OK, my bad, it says it may cause problems. I don't think they're saying that out of nowhere, and the fact they're saying they may also investigate the effects, and maybe impose limits.

The "war on terrorism" is a big excuse for just about everything these days :\

vincentsiaw
12-17-2002, 09:39 PM
if a 5ghz wi-fi cause interference with us milatarry equipment, than what about 5ghz walkie talkie, or cordless phone?

JvanEkris
12-17-2002, 09:50 PM
I'm not talking about failure of an electrical system. I'm talking about creating static noise on vital data-lines by activating a 2 watt radiotransmitter inside a plane. Because that is what a normal GSM-phone is. although newer phones radiate less, it is still a potential hazard to deal with. It is potentially disturbing the very data that keeps a plane in the air. As i quote from the same article:


The CAA measured the strength of simulated cell phone transmissions in various parts of the fuselage of two different Boeing aircraft at London's Gatwick Airport last year. The agency found that cell-phone emissions could theoretically exceed the susceptibility levels of aircraft equipment, so it recommended the continuation of the cell-phone ban on commercial airlines.


Be aware that in flight-safety is a big issue, and that unless proven otherwise, everything that is turned on on board is considered unsafe.

On the discussions of Radar. I fnd that hard to believe that the 5Ghz band would be that cluttered by WiFi that it would jam a radar system. They are all relatively small transmitters. There are a lot of them (hopefully :)) but, could they intefere with radar ? I don't think so. A radar is a huge and focussed transmitter. And as long as nobody is sitting close to it (say a 300 meters) it woldn't pose much of a problem...

Jaap

Newsboy
12-17-2002, 10:05 PM
I'm not talking about failure of an electrical system. I'm talking about creating static noise on vital data-lines by activating a 2 watt radiotransmitter inside a plane. Because that is what a normal GSM-phone is. although newer phones radiate less, it is still a potential hazard to deal with. It is potentially disturbing the very data that keeps a plane in the air. As i quote from the same article:


The CAA measured the strength of simulated cell phone transmissions in various parts of the fuselage of two different Boeing aircraft at London's Gatwick Airport last year. The agency found that cell-phone emissions could theoretically exceed the susceptibility levels of aircraft equipment, so it recommended the continuation of the cell-phone ban on commercial airlines.


Be aware that in flight-safety is a big issue, and that unless proven otherwise, everything that is turned on on board is considered unsafe.

Jaap

I don't disagree that flight-safety is a big issue, but three points:

1) Simulated cell phone transmissions DO NOT demonstrate to me that the levels of interference would exceed safety specifications set forth by the aircraft manufacturers. In-flight testing has NEVER demonstrated interference with aircraft systems due to portable electronic devices.

2) Cell phones do NOT have two watt transmitters. Just go ahead and prove me otherwise. Even ten years ago, hand-held phones did not exceed one watt of power. If you wanted a better signal in your car, you needed a three-watt booster. I know, I HAD ONE. Get educated for goodness sake.

3) If there WERE a break in the shielding in the electrical wiring of an aircraft, it would be MORE succeptible to interference from the aircraft's OWN SYSTEMS than from any portable electronic devices onboard. That's not conjecture, or an opinion, that's physics. Go ahead and try to prove that one wrong.

dcharles18
12-17-2002, 10:05 PM
Um, what's with the 'link requires registration' ?? I am registered and logged in (or I couldn't be making this post).

Jimmy Dodd
12-17-2002, 10:16 PM
Um, what's with the 'link requires registration' ?? I am registered and logged in (or I couldn't be making this post).

I think he means the link to the NYT article requires registration, not PPCT.

Jonathan1
12-17-2002, 10:24 PM
Jeez, posts like this should be deleted. There is no direct evidence that a digital cell phone can cause a failure of any of an aircraft's electrical systems. Another case of checking the sources of your evidence before you believe them. Check Wired.com's (http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,41273-2,00.html) report on this story before you listen to Japp.

And after you read that, next time you get on a plane and see someone with a hearing aid (like me!)...don't walk, RUN TO THE EXIT!!! :lol:

You want to risk going down in a plane over a phone call fine go charter your own plane. But if there is a 100+ people on an airliner you dang well better turn that phone off. This summer I was on a trip back from Chicago. 45 minute flight and some punk*** kid was dinking around with her cell phone in front of me. She was trying to dial a number. I took that phone from her and gave it to a stewardess. They donít tell you to turn off phones just for the **** of it. I donít care if there is only a 1 in 100,000,000 chance of the signal from a phone interfering with the plane its still a chance. Iíd rather play it safe then play a game of Russian roulette with someone who has some sort of bizarre need to have a phone surgically grafted onto their ear. If someone can't stay off the phone for more then a few hours there are some serious issues with that person.

dcharles18
12-17-2002, 10:25 PM
Whoops. Thanks.

Newsboy
12-17-2002, 10:39 PM
Jeez, posts like this should be deleted. There is no direct evidence that a digital cell phone can cause a failure of any of an aircraft's electrical systems. Another case of checking the sources of your evidence before you believe them. Check Wired.com's (http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,41273-2,00.html) report on this story before you listen to Japp.

And after you read that, next time you get on a plane and see someone with a hearing aid (like me!)...don't walk, RUN TO THE EXIT!!! :lol:

You want to risk going down in a plane over a phone call fine go charter your own plane. But if there is a 100+ people on an airliner you dang well better turn that phone off. This summer I was on a trip back from Chicago. 45 minute flight and some punk*** kid was dinking around with her cell phone in front of me. She was trying to dial a number. I took that phone from her and gave it to a stewardess. They donít tell you to turn off phones just for the **** of it. I donít care if there is only a 1 in 100,000,000 chance of the signal from a phone interfering with the plane its still a chance. Iíd rather play it safe then play a game of Russian roulette with someone who has some sort of bizarre need to have a phone surgically grafted onto their ear. If someone can't stay off the phone for more then a few hours there are some serious issues with that person.

Note that I never said I'd use a cell phone on a plane. I don't, and wouldn't! I don't disagree with your points! I don't think ANY electronic devices should be used on airplanes IF there is a legitemate risk of the aircraft's systems being interfered with. But laptops are the number one reported cause of aircraft interference, I say we ban them as well!

JvanEkris
12-17-2002, 10:54 PM
I don't disagree that flight-safety is a big issue, but three points:

2) Cell phones do NOT have two watt transmitters. Just go ahead and prove me otherwise. Even ten years ago, hand-held phones did not exceed one watt of power. If you wanted a better signal in your car, you needed a three-watt booster. I know, I HAD ONE. Get educated for goodness sake.


I do not know where you are from, but i guess you are american. Unfortunatly for you, Cell phones also are made elsewhere. The biggest standard in the world is the GSM standard. The GSM900 standard clearely states that there are two kinds of transmitters. A 2 Watt transmitter used in handheld devices like cell-phones, and 8 watt (!) devices, preferebly used for cars.

If you don't believe me, see http://www.techmind.org/gsm/

Jaap

surur
12-17-2002, 10:56 PM
Jonathan1 wrote
I donít care if there is only a 1 in 100,000,000 chance of the signal from a phone interfering with the plane its still a chance. Iíd rather play it safe then play a game of Russian roulette with someone who has some sort of bizarre need to have a phone surgically grafted onto their ear. If someone can't stay off the phone for more then a few hours there are some serious issues with that person.

I am sure you regularly do many things with bigger than 1 in 100 000 000 chance of killing 100 people. Like driving a car. Do you have any idea how small a risk 1 in 100 000 000 is?

It may sound selfish, but I think the convenience of 1000 000 people is worth one life ( e.g. in building a traffic tunnel at least a few people will die, or 1000 000 000 people drive for example, which is very convenient, but we dont stop driving because 500 000 people die every year in car crashes).

Life isnt overwhelmingly precious (else we would never have abortions for convenience) and in fact I am allowed to cause a (very) small risk to your life for my *simple* convenience.

I think you need to get over your self-importance

Surur

JvanEkris
12-17-2002, 11:08 PM
Surur,

Would you mind if i said i would not get in a car or plain with you ?

In the safety-related industry there is a term called ALARP: As Low As Reasonably Possible. Basically it is saying that it would cost too much to reduce more risk. To put it in more practical terms: you will not invest biljons of dollars to prevent a very unlikely accident that might kill somebody (watch the two independent chances). This however does not absolve you in any way from watching and managing the risk, reducing it when you can (with cheaper solutions). This is working very conciously with risks of what you are doing.

Do you understand how big a chance of 1 on 1.000.000 is ? Especially if you have 10.000.000 flights a year. Statistically, you just killed 2500 people by allowing something that introduces only such a small risk.

However, if i read your statement correctly, your attitude against this kind of risk is very much the opposite of this principle. You say: hee, let's take on some more risk and start making phonecalls in hospitals and airplanes, the chances are remote anyway ! Pardon me for saying, but that sounds reckless to me.

Jaap

Newsboy
12-17-2002, 11:11 PM
Jonathan1 wrote
I donít care if there is only a 1 in 100,000,000 chance of the signal from a phone interfering with the plane its still a chance. Iíd rather play it safe then play a game of Russian roulette with someone who has some sort of bizarre need to have a phone surgically grafted onto their ear. If someone can't stay off the phone for more then a few hours there are some serious issues with that person.

I am sure you regularly do many things with bigger than 1 in 100 000 000 chance of killing 100 people. Like driving a car. Do you have any idea how small a risk 1 in 100 000 000 is?

It may sound selfish, but I think the convenience of 1000 000 people is worth one life ( e.g. in building a traffic tunnel at least a few people will die, or 1000 000 000 people drive for example, which is very convenient, but we dont stop driving because 500 000 people die every year in car crashes).

Life isnt overwhelmingly precious (else we would never have abortions for convenience) and in fact I am allowed to cause a (very) small risk to your life for my *simple* convenience.

I think you need to get over your self-importance

Surur

DING DING DING!!!! We have a winner! Finally someone who understands!

surur
12-17-2002, 11:26 PM
In the safety-related industry there is a term called ALARP: As Low As Reasonably Possible. Basically it is saying that it would cost too much to reduce more risk. To put it in more practical terms: you will not invest biljons of dollars to prevent a very unlikely accident that might kill somebody (watch the two independent chances). This however does not absolve you in any way from watching and managing the risk, reducing it when you can (with cheaper solutions). This is working very conciously with risks of what you are doing.


Jaap, what I am advocating is a realistic understanding and assessment of risk. We take real and dangerous risks everyday (e.g. when we go into the kitchen or shower (where *many* household accidents happen), yet we dont pad the floors with matressess, just because we might slip.)

A 1 in 100 000 000 risk *is* small (note not 1 in 1000 000 which you mentioned). I have a 1 in 1 risk of dying, I just dont know of what yet. To reduce risk to extremely miniscule levels is very expensive, and people often make mistakes in priority when addressing risk. Often the biggest factor is who is causing the risk, myself or others. To a statitician that really doesnt matter. The real question society needs to address is.. at what exact level of risk do we start to legislate (and 1 in 1000 000) naively seems reasonable ...

and remember, we are all going to die.... have fun while you are still alive... :)

Surur

ldti
12-18-2002, 12:11 AM
it's similar to what's happening in Israel.
Here bluetooth is illegal until something like 2004 , because the military fears it will damage their systems (BS).
BUT (!) , do you really think someone here cares?
NO.

I can find DV cameras with bluetooth , cellphones with bluetooth and the ipaq xx7x series too.

And I'm not mentioning all the dongles and so forth....

so , sorry everyone , but wireless is unstoppable.

we will import it and use it , and you cant do anything to stop us.

Stik
12-18-2002, 12:39 AM
' Military Seeks Restrictions on WiFi '

My, thats an attention grabbing headline, eh? :lol:

A very broad statement thats good for selling newspapers. Reading the article, the military is looking at 5GHz radio spectrum, which would make it hard for those companies developing and promoting 802.11a products.

However, since 802.11b, which is MUCH more mainstream, works on the 2.4 GHz radio spectrum, I see no reason to worry about this situation...
...at least for now. :twisted:

seanturner
12-18-2002, 12:49 AM
A 100mw transmitter would never have any noticable effect on radar systems. Yes, mabye if you're on a mountain with a yagi pointing at the mil base, but, otherwise, its absolute crap.

Also, I've had a video conference on board a 747 via adhoc 802.11b between two laptops with my friend stuck 30 rows behind me so that we could both work on a document. We were connected for about 6 hours straight on a flight from here to France and I'm still alive to post...

mookie123
12-18-2002, 01:14 AM
I really wonder what's this WiFi gonna bring down the nationwide Radar story really is. IF a $99 bucks WiFi can jammed multi billion dollar radar system......hey

Wouldn't WiFi be the perfect jamming technology? If it is THAT easy to jammed radar, wouldn't they invent anti-jamming counter measure already by now?

for gawd sake. I think there is something fishy with this whole deal. I bet it has something to do how not every port can be identified with single person problem, rather than "radar getting jammed" There are more sophisticated consumer radio transceiver in roughly the same frequency that the big bad terrorist already can buy.

Jonathan1
12-18-2002, 07:51 AM
I think you need to get over your self-importance

Surur

Excuse me? self-importance? Ya right.

You compare me driving a car. What is the worse that can happen in a car? That it breaks down and I pull over, that I get into a fender bender with someone infront of me, that I roll my car, that maybe I kill a few people by causing a truck to roll. There is little risk if any, well I supose if I ran into a tanker that was carrying smallpox, of me killing 100+ people in a car accident. People get pissy about not being able to use a cell on a plane. Talk about self-importance. If you canít be out of contact for a 5+/- hour period there are issues. Itís called voicemail and if you are so all important then you should get your own aircraft and fly yourself.


As you pointed out we take risks everyday. If I die from a choice I make so be it. But the vast majority of those risks rarely affect others around us. IMHO using a cell on a plane is selfish all in the name of convince. Again I say if you are the only one at risk fine. But when your are bringing the lives of everyone else on the plane into the mix what you are doing is totally irresponsible.

Screw any potential safety hazards as long as it doesn't interfere with YOUR convince. Tell you what lets get the FAA to do a test. For a 6 month period let everyone who travels use a phone and if a plane goes down and kills everyone. Well then weíll know for sure. A few hundred people is, potentially, a small price to pay for using your cell phone on a plane. :roll:

Donít even start on abortion we are going to walk right past that little o landmine.

sweetpete
12-18-2002, 09:18 AM
I don't disagree that flight-safety is a big issue, but three points:

2) Cell phones do NOT have two watt transmitters. Just go ahead and prove me otherwise. Even ten years ago, hand-held phones did not exceed one watt of power. If you wanted a better signal in your car, you needed a three-watt booster. I know, I HAD ONE. Get educated for goodness sake.


I do not know where you are from, but i guess you are american. Unfortunatly for you, Cell phones also are made elsewhere. The biggest standard in the world is the GSM standard. The GSM900 standard clearely states that there are two kinds of transmitters. A 2 Watt transmitter used in handheld devices like cell-phones, and 8 watt (!) devices, preferebly used for cars.

If you don't believe me, see http://www.techmind.org/gsm/

Jaap

You should quote your own articles better. That same article says that for a phone conversation using 1 out of the possible 8 time slots, the phone would use 1/8th of the peak power of 2 watts. Also the phones are tuned to use the least amount of power to sustain the conversation and that it can optimally be 20mW. At most, a standard voice conversation uses 250mW and optimally as low as 20mW ... that's substantially less than 2W.

Folks, first of all, the topic of cell phone usage on airplanes is Off-Topic on an Off-Topic thread. Second, the issue of saftey is a bunch of BS. It's all about airline profits, and nothing to do with safety.

surur
12-18-2002, 09:45 AM
You compare me driving a car. What is the worse that can happen in a car? That it breaks down and I pull over, that I get into a fender bender with someone infront of me, that I roll my car, that maybe I kill a few people by causing a truck to roll. There is little risk if any, well I supose if I ran into a tanker that was carrying smallpox, of me killing 100+ people in a car accident. People get pissy about not being able to use a cell on a plane. Talk about self-importance.

As you pointed out we take risks everyday. If I die from a choice I make so be it. But the vast majority of those risks rarely affect others around us. IMHO using a cell on a plane is selfish all in the name of convince. Again I say if you are the only one at risk fine. But when your are bringing the lives of everyone else on the plane into the mix what you are doing is totally irresponsible.



I certainly think you have a 1 in 100 000 000 chance of killing 100 people in your car (e.g. getting stuck on a crossing in front of a train, causing it to derail). The chance of this occuring is probably much more than 1 in 100 000 000, as this happens quite regularly, every few years. Yet it does not stop you from getting in your car. You need to be able to accurately weigh up the risks you take versus the benefits, including your convenience. Also about your little experiement, the fact of the matter is that in fact for many years people have been making calls with cellphones from planes, and as far as we know none of them have crashed yet because of that.

I believe the view of people who think it is safe is based on this very natural experiment (which you proposed) as aposed to some weird theoretical risk which has never been demonstrated, despite people doing it every day. And in fact if some plane does one day go down because of this, the risk would still have been demonstrated to have been very low (one plane in many millions of flights), and as I have mentioned, we dont ban people from driving because it kills 25 000 people a year in america, do we. We dont even ban radio's in cars, even though they have been demonstrated to be a major distraction in cars (e.g. changing stations, causing accidents).

So, the experiemnt has been done, all participants are still alive, and I dont think that plane on the way to Washington fell out of the sky because all those people were calling their families telling them about the hijack, do you?

Surur

JvanEkris
12-18-2002, 11:21 AM
You should quote your own articles better. That same article says that for a phone conversation using 1 out of the possible 8 time slots, the phone would use 1/8th of the peak power of 2 watts. Also the phones are tuned to use the least amount of power to sustain the conversation and that it can optimally be 20mW. At most, a standard voice conversation uses 250mW and optimally as low as 20mW ... that's substantially less than 2W.


I'm afraid that a cell-phone uses it peak of 2 watt when it looks for an antenna to connect to. However, at 30.000 ft, no connection can be made, resulting in a phone continously looking at peak power of 2 watt for a supporting base. This means that in the period that it would be most harmfull (in-flight) a cell-phone is also being the most harmful by emitting 2 watt of radio-beams in short intervals.

Jaap

wrightca
12-18-2002, 09:21 PM
First, until I see a law banning wireless, I don't think you have anything to worry about.

Second, the military is notoriously slow about accepting anything as "OK" for any purpose. It's been difficult getting 802.11b stuff, just for the possible security problems that could occur. I know there are problems with the "built-in" type security, but believe me, the military has plenty of other security measures to take care of it.

I am in the Air Force and recently moved to Germany. In the letter I got from the Army (they handle alot of the shipping of belongings and automobiles), there was a bullet stating, "Do not bring your cell phone, radio frequency wireless network or any other kind of transmitting equipment to Germany, it is illegal." This struck me as wierd, I can't see everything being illegal and going against the established spectrum in any country. After investigation, I found my 2.4GHz stuff should be fine. I even found my landlord using a 900MHz phone. It turns out the Army just slapped the big illegal label on it because they were too lazy to determine which subsets of equipment actually conflicted with other local Tx/Rx equipment here.

It's very typical of the military to not like things it doesn't know about. I fight this stuff on a daily basis. It comes from having too many 'operators' (pilots, tank drivers, grunts) in leadership positions, and not enough support people (comm, logistics, civil engineers) up there to correct them.

The "military" cannot make anything legal or illegal. Congress has to do that. The congress can act on suggestions of the military. But there would have to be some glaring evidence that it was detrimental to the mission. Lately, we have been loosing much of our spectrum allocations from the FCC, so they can be sold to private companies. Complain to congress next time you pay your taxes. They took away a certain set of frequencies that a radar in a certain aircraft used. We had to retrofit every one of those aircraft with new radar, just because congress wanted to make some money off the sale of that part of the spectrum.

Kaber
12-18-2002, 10:44 PM
Maybe it was all the cell calls coming from flight 93 that brought it down and not a missle from an F16 or a terrorist bomb or the heroic efforts of its passengers... or whatever.



Just a thought.

Stik
12-28-2002, 07:01 AM
' Somebody doesn't like the idea of unregulated communication. WiFi is scaring the government not because it's a tool of terrorism but because it's a tool of unregulated political dissent. '


Annalee Newitz ([email protected]) is a surly media nerd whose wireless network is going to stay open until they pry the antenna from her cold dead hands. Her column also appears in Metro, Silicon Valley's weekly newspaper.
http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=14854

My own personal spin is that telecom lobbyists are working the ropes until the telecom industry can figure a way to make money off of WiFi...
and us. :twisted: