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Are we too tech dependent and vulnerable?



Does anyone under the age of 30 know how to read a map anymore?

Jonathan Saul of Reuters published an article on the 7th of August about how a backup navigation system on cargo vessels might be necessary due to the fear of GPS hacking. Flight students already learn the old-fashioned ways of navigating using Very High-Frequency Omnidirectional Radio (VOR) and dead reckoning, but ocean going vessels need a backup system as well. Saul pointed out several examples of ships losing GPS ability and now the sea going vessels of the world needing to find another answer.

This begs another question: Have we become too dependent on GPS and other technology? CAN anyone under the age of 30 read a road map? What if hackers could hack the Global Positioning System? Can we find our way around without it? Would we end up at a stranger’s house when we were trying to get to Grandma’s?

Hacking GPS is a great way to annoy us, but it would also be a phenomenal weapon of terror.

The best precision guided munition the US Military now has is the JDAM, which is a kit that is added to regular bombs, making them “smart.” These are GPS guided. What if cyber-terrorists could hack in, and instead of hitting the nest of terrorists in Kabul that F-15E was aiming for, the JDAM now goes just a little off course and hits a mosque, or a school, killing innocents and stirring up anti-American sentiment?

Scary thought, isn’t it?

It seems clear we need to take precautions to guard our technology. The US military has provided GPS to the world for civilian purposes, but perhaps we need to have our own backup systems? What if hackers manage to take down the GPS satellites for good? It would be wise for people to know how to do things the old-fashioned way. Thankfully, the military knows how to do that too, to some extent.


Benjamin Wilhelm served as a commissioned officer in the United States military for 10 years, serving one combat tour in Afghanistan. He is a recipient of the Bronze Star and Combat Action Badge among other military awards. Ben has worked in a variety of private sector businesses both large and small. He is a former military and civilian firearms instructor and an advocate for veterans issues. Ben is a strict Constitutionalist who sees the Federal government as an out of control leviathan, and the federal debt as a burden that will break the country. Ben is a divorced father of two boys.

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