GPS jammers getting more powerful, causing more problems

By , ITworld |  Security, GPS, illegal

Illegal GPS signal jamming can disrupt local GPS devices and cell phone towers, according to UK reports.

Reported at the GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) Vulnerability 2012 conference held at England's National Physical Laboratory on February 22, results from the Sentinel study showed an increasing number of jamming episodes, says TechWeek Europe. Roadside monitoring stations reported 60 violations in six months.

Sean Gallegher, writing in Ars Technica, reported on the dangers of interrupting GPS signals. Cell phone systems and even electrical grids rely on GPS signals for time-keeping. Jammers built for auto use to obscure location can affect other devices from 100 yards away and more. Powerful jammers can disrupt signals as far away as 32 kilometers. Yes, jammers have caused problems at airports already. They are illegal to use, but legal to own, in the UK.

Surprise

I had no idea little GPS jammers could cause so much havoc though.
clackerd on arstechnica.com

why would you want to jam the GPS signals? If you’re not doing anything wrong then yu have no reason to worry.
Angel Investors on techweekeurope.co.uk

First hand

I know a guy who bought that exact jammer in the picture. I think it was a little over $100 shipped from China. It works. It kills my AT&T iPhone dead. It kills his Sprint phone. It killed everything except one device he's ever tried to test with.
Dilbert on arstechnica.com

The more sophisticated jammers don't cause "noise", but rather they record and replay the pseudorandom generated digits they receive from the various frequencies and time drift them.
zbowling on news.ycombinator.com

Jammers for car usage like this one are used by people to protect their privacy and not to harm vital infrastructures of the city.
Alex White on techweekeurope.co.uk

in 2009 the Newark airport had a daily GPS failure that was finally traced to a trucker using a jammer, presumably to defeat a tracker enforcing safe driving rules.
NelsonMinar on news.ycombinator.com

Authorities and warnings

But... in the end... it mostly just made me want to buy a GPS jammer.
primordius on arstechnica.com

The more we allow our public movements to be tracked, and the more control and oversight we grant the government and corporations, the harder it will become for the public at large if there should ever come a time when they want some of that power back.
Crane on techweekeurope.co.uk

How vulnerable are Google's self-driving cars to GPS jamming?
GiraffeNecktie on news.ycombinator.com

Should civilian GPS jammers be legal or illegal?

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