We Need to Be Prepared that Handheld Devices Can Be Used Innovatively By Terrorists
Imagine Utilizing People Assigned to Watch a Bit of The Sky From their Window
By Eamon P. Doherty
Andrew Krepinevich wrote an excellent article called, "Get Ready for The Democratization of Destruction," that discusses the problems associated with technology that was once only in the hands of the military, now within reach of terrorists . In the past, the small rockets and munitions that were fired at Israel were random and inaccurate, but as recently as 2006, some had guided systems .
Let's look at an example of a possible problem and a countermeasure. In 2011, PDAs have excellent high resolution and wireless capability. There are also radio controlled airplanes that can be easily bought by consumers and controlled from the ground. These airplanes can also be fitted with special wireless cameras that may transmit video to distances of one to two miles . A control station for the airplane could also send the video wirelessly to people in the field with PDAs who could give orders to the remote pilot. This system which is used by radio controlled aircraft hobbyists could also be used for a poor man's unmanned aerial vehicle. Such systems could be used for surveillance or to deliver a payload.
A set of countermeasures could also be deployed using stationary wide angle cameras, civilian spotters equipped with PDAs, and communication with a Quick Response Force (QRF). Wide angle cameras such as the ones used to monitor highway traffic in the United States can be deployed in border regions. Retired people or those at home with disabilities could be part of a force utilized to monitor cameras for incoming threats. Cell phones setup with speed dials could be pre-configured to call military forces near corresponding cameras who could try to shoot down the radio controlled plane or incoming rocket.
Handheld devices, low cost cameras, and highly sophisticated consumer electronics can be used by terrorists or counter terrorists. What is needed is a coalition of citizens groups, military, and law enforcement people who are willing to work together with creative solutions to new problems.
Krepinevich, A.,(2011)," Get Ready for The Democratization of Destruction,", Foreign Policy Now, Sep/Oct 2011 Issue, URL Located http://www.foreignpolicy.com