FCC Eases Ultra-Wideband Technology Rules

FCC Eases Ultra-Wideband Technology Rules
Posted by CN Staff on February 13, 2003 at 16:31:20 PT
By The Associated Press 
Source: Associated Press
Technology that can see through walls to help police track criminals and aid firefighters searching for victims received a boost from federal regulators Thursday.Responding to industry requests, the Federal Communications Commission tweaked restrictions on ultra-wideband technology, which sends millions of narrow pulses each second over airwaves to get a precise reading of an object's location and distance. The signals also can carry huge amounts of data over a short distance.
The technology has many potential uses, from wireless home networks of computers and other appliances to collision-avoidance systems in cars. Ground penetrating radar systems using ultra-wideband can detect objects or people buried under earth or debris."While I hope we have no reason to ever use ultra-wideband to assist search-and-rescue teams in a disaster, I'll be glad that we have this tool available should the need arise," said FCC Commissioner Michael Copps.The FCC established rules a year ago permitting the marketing and operation of ultra-wideband products. The latest rule changes will allow manufacturers to design devices that gather clearer images, said Edmond Thomas, chief of the FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology.The agency is still studying the new technology to ensure it doesn't interfere with other broadcasts.Privacy advocates worry that the technology could be abused."It's yet another example of a technology that endows the police with superhuman powers," said Barry Steinhardt of the American Civil Liberties Union. "The technologies are being developed at light speed but the law that governs their use is still back in the Stone Age."In June 2001, the Supreme Court ruled that police must get warrants before using devices that search through walls for criminal activity. The ruling involved police use of a heat-sensing device that led to marijuana charges against an Oregon man.The FCC announced its rule changes at a demonstration of ultra-wideband devices at the agency's headquarters.Several companies showed off ground-penetrating radar devices that resemble heavy-duty lawnmowers with flat computer screens mounted on their handles. The devices can locate utility pipes and lines underground or in concrete.Time Domain Corp., based in Huntsville, Ala., demonstrated a "through-wall motion detector," a briefcase-sized, 10-pound device that can be held up to a wall. A person moving behind the wall shows up as a colorful blob on a small display. The detector is intended for use by law enforcement, firefighters and the military.Note: Federal Regulators Ease Restrictions on Technology That Can See Through Walls.Source: Associated Press Published:  February 13, 2003Copyright: 2003 Associated Press Related Articles & Web Site:ACLU for Indoor Pot Farms? Vision - Time Magazine 
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Comment #3 posted by mayan on February 14, 2003 at 17:43:06 PT
Thanks for that release! The Libertarians have so much common-sense. if only our government would listen to them!
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Comment #2 posted by druid on February 14, 2003 at 07:32:01 PT
Libertarian Release: Terror Alert
Latest terror alert proves government has failed
at its most basic mission, Libertarians sayWASHINGTON, DC  The heightened terror alert is actually a "Government 
Incompetence Alert," Libertarians say, because the government is 
admitting that it cannot perform its most basic function: national 
defense."What's truly alarming is that a government that will confiscate $2.2 
trillion from its citizens this year is powerless to protect them," 
said Libertarian Party Chair Geoffrey Neale. "And that should make 
Americans more angry than afraid."As the directors of the CIA and FBI testified before the Senate 
Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, they described new threats from al-
Qaeda and elaborated on their decision to raise the terrorist threat 
level from yellow to orange.Federal officials are urging that Americans to stockpile food and 
water, make arrangements for contacting family members during an 
emergency, and buy duct tape and plastic sheeting to seal homes in the 
event of a chemical or biological attack.But Libertarians say all of these warnings would be unnecessary if the 
government were doing its job."Why are Americans who have been forced to fork over hundreds of 
billions of dollars for tanks, missiles and other high-tech weaponry 
now being told to defend themselves with duct tape and plastic 
sheets?" asked Neale. "Because the government has failed to perform 
one of its most basic  and least controversial  functions: defending 
the nation from armed aggression."Like most government failures, this one is expensive, Neale noted. "This year the Defense Department budget will be at least $365 
billion," he said. "Shouldn't politicians explain why we aren't very 
well defended?"The Department of Homeland Security will cost $36.2 billion. 
Shouldn't politicians explain why we aren't very secure?"Taxpayers will also shell out an estimated $30 billion for the CIA; 
$4.3 billion for the FBI; and $3.5 billion for the National Security 
Agency. "Yet after spending nearly a half-trillion a year on these defense 
agencies, the nation seems less secure than ever. Instead of cavalierly 
issuing more terror alerts, politicians should hang their heads in 
shame and apologize to the American people for this monumental failure 
to do their jobs."Unfortunately, if another terror attack does occur, politicians will be 
tempted to respond by spending even more money and writing yet another 
'anti-terrorism' bill, Neale predicted. But that approach won't work."It is absolutely impossible for the government to protect 280 million 
individual Americans from terrorism or other random crimes," he said. 
"People who are willing to commit horrific acts of violence and even 
commit suicide in the process will always be able to kill scores of 
innocent people."That's why the solution to terrorism must include adopting a 'Protect 
America First' foreign policy, Neale said, which calls for bringing all 
U.S. troops home, ending military intervention and foreign aid, and 
never launching a 'pre-emptive' military strike."A Swiss-style foreign policy of neutrality and non-intervention would 
make terrorist attacks less likely while still protecting our 
borders," he said."Until that decision is made, every terror alert will be a frightening 
reminder of our government's inability to protect us."
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Comment #1 posted by mayan on February 13, 2003 at 17:25:43 PT
Patriot II
This is very frightening..."The Second Patriot Act Is Much Worse Than the First...And They Didn't Want You to Know About It...Until After They Had Sprung an Attack."Patriot Act II -- SECRET LEGISLATION: knew...Make No Mistake About It - 9/11 Was An Inside Job(The lost voxnyc article that the federales shut down!):'s Best 9/11 Sites - 4th Edition: Prior Knowledge/Government Involvement Archive:
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