Monday, May 07, 2007

Mobile Phones to be used in counter-terrorism

Mobile Phones to be used in counter-terrorism
USA Today ran an interesting news article titled "Phones studied as attack detector", which discusses The Department of Homeland Security developing "Cell-All" program.
The work undertaken in the project apparently will look at cellular telephones and how isotope and biological detectors can be incorporated into them and their use. As a mobile telephone is carried should it (the cellphone) detect a known reference element, having the inclusion of Global Positioning System (GPS) in the cellphone would allow it to transmit the location coordinates of the detection to authorities.
The idea is interesting, but is not new. In the issue INDEX NO: VOL 2-MTS02-2005 Mobile Telephone Surveillance (MTS) Newsletter it contained a collection of short articles I had written going back to 2002 in which I identified how mobile telephones and mobile systems can be used as weapons, used for interception and detectors. The MTS edition was sent to military, law enforcement agencies and security specialists in the UK as it also discussed mobile telephone issues associated with the July 2005 bombings in London UK. One of the short articles discussed "Cell phone could warn of bio-attack".
A mobile phone able to warn against fire, leakage of methane or other types of toxic gas. The phone includes a battery with sensors that provides periodical information about quick temperature changes, the presence of smoke, methane and carbon monoxide, which are compared by an internal device with pre-established normal values. The alarm telephone will not be much more expensive than a common one, as a sensor costs about 5-10 dollars and only the phone'ssoftware will be changed.In the future, the mobilephones might also include biosensors, which will warnabout the presence of bacteria,viruses, toxins, micro-organisms,radiations, nuclear particles and explosive powder. Such a project should also take into account the high price of the biosensors of about 300 dollars. The biosensors are currently in the test phase.
The original concept of biosensors being used in mobile telephones has been developing since 2003. It is interesting to see, though, in 2007 how far that concept has come, and how mobile telephones are, once again, being adapted to operate in so many different ways well beyond the original concept for consumer use, such as mobile calls and text messaging.