Executive order looks to safeguard GPS infrastructure

global network (greenbutterfly/ 

The White House moved to increase the resiliency of a crucial piece of the signal and spectrum capabilities that support Global Positioning Systems.

A Feb. 12 executive order seeks to protect against disruption and manipulation of positioning, navigation and timing signals (PNT) that are a "largely invisible utility for technology and infrastructure" including the power grid, communications, transportation and more.

PNT signals are included among the 16 critical infrastructure systems guarded by federal agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security, as well as private industry.

Officials from a number of federal agencies on a Feb. 12 press call said the order protects emerging industries, such as autonomous vehicles, as well as existing location-based systems that undergird a growing array of commercial and federal networks, systems and capabilities.

The order calls for the Commerce secretary, in coordination with other critical infrastructure-sector agencies, such as the DHS and the Department of Transportation, to develop a set of "PNT Profiles" with their private-sector stakeholders. The profiles will give agencies and private-sector users a view to how to identify PNT services in their infrastructure and protect them against disruption.

The order sets a deadline of one year to develop the profiles.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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