Bruce Schneier writes that mobile phones in Bush’s vicinity will be disabled by jamming equipment during his forthcoming trip to Australia. A helicopter will fly above his motorcade, jamming cell frequencies in an area about the size of a football field.
Harry’s immediate thought is that any sensible terrorist will merely detonate his device via the absence of a cell signal, rather than the presence of one. The electronic equivalent of a dead man’s switch, if you will. That said, it could be made even better: the device could be configured to respond to the presence of a jamming signal instead. Of course, the bomb will have to be considerably bigger than it would otherwise have been, to compensate for the lack of accuracy that would be inherent in such a scheme.
Come to think of it: one could just use a PMR446. Or a CB radio. Or a transmitter for an RC car. Or a laser diode. Or an RPG.
I wonder what this completely useless countermeasure will cost to implement? I wonder how many people will be inconvinienced by it? Or, perhaps more importantly: don’t Bush’s staff need their cellphones? What if something happens that needs the President’s attention? I daresay he’d want to avoid sitting round reading children’s books in the event of a national emergency. Or maybe not.
Or, maybe, his staff have cellphones which operate on a different frequency, rendering the whole thing useless anyway.