Cell phone risks

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

I hope somebody’s thinking seriously about the implications of this:


Israel has already seen some consequences of soldiers with cellphones.

Here in Toronto we have a law against driving and using a hand-held cell phone. I note that researchers are reporting that even hands-free pones are distracting enough to be a major risk. never the less, I have stood back fro the kerb at an uptown intersection and seen drivers turn against the lights and narrowly miss pedestrians because they were on the phone. The drivers, that is.  (I’m still on the look out for pedestrians using phones and being oblivious to their surroundings causing accidents.)  Perhaps I need to use my own phone and make videos of this and upload the to YouTube 🙂

So I’m very cynical about the use of distracting technology in the battlefield. Use of the smartphones ‘in barracks’ is one thing; using them in the field is another.

There seems to be a big mental hole here.
The idea of a coms system that has a central control or the cell/tower model is inherently vulnerable; no less so than GPS if you think about it, and probably more so; you don’t need a rocket launch and EMP capability to take out cell phone towers and the phone system.

But the kind of Wifi system that allows the nodes to mesh and forward and heal (WiMax) is just the kind of thing the cell phone companies don’t want.

WiMax – http://www.open-mesh.com/ – may assume an internet backbone
connecting the various meshes, but in a battlefield scenario the local mesh would be adequate. Its simply uses different “smartphones” and software. Maybe there is a back haul WAN, maybe it can download satellite or surveillance images or the front-line commanders.

But OTS cellphones … I can see too many high risk scenarios in a military setting.

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