Naval WiFi network to help maritime and port security operations
| 10.11.2006 | 07:03:11 | Views: 2723 | ID:
October 11 '06: The Navy is working to create a wireless Internet blanket over the world's oceans to help track commercial and military sea vessels in an effort to help boost communication and sea lane and port security, NetDefense reported this week.
The WiFi service being developed would "put together a global military and commercial identification and tracking system," so that "transparency" could be introduced to international waters, US Navy Vice Adm. John Morgan, deputy naval operations chief for information, plans and strategy said recently.The system would help to share and send information using an unclassified system, Morgan said. "There has to be a shift in the mind-set of do not use the sea to cloak behavior." The kind of behavior to which Morgan is referring - using international shipping lines as a means of hiding, or transporting illegal and/or dangerous materials and substances - is a major concern for military and government officials in the US. Last week, Congress passed a major port security bill that would provide "steps to prevent terrorism at sea ports such as putting nuclear, chemical or biological devices into the 11 million shipping containers entering the country every year," Government Technology News reported. The Navy's marine Internet network would help to provide a foundational structure for tracking, registering and monitoring shipments of those containers. The port security bill, HR 4954, calls for extra "maritime and cargo security through enhanced layered defenses," and it allocates more than $400 million a year for five years "for risk-based grants for training and exercises at ports," the Associated Press reported. The bill also requires "the nation's 22 largest ports, which handle 98 percent of all cargo entering the country, to install radiation detectors by the end of the next year," the AP continued. Additional uses for the maritime WiFi network would include humanitarian efforts conducted or organized by the Navy, as well as "related aid from its so-called global ship stations, which could be located in or near a region and serve as a launching post for such aid or other resources," NetDefense reported.
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