FCC ponders using Russian satellites to route U.S. 911 calls

FCC ponders using Russian satellites to route U.S. 911 calls

[Ed. – Because who needs national security anyway?]

US first responders have been struggling with the challenge of better tracking the location of 911 emergency calls coming from cell phones. Such calls now represent the majority of emergency contacts in the 911 system, given the ubiquitous nature of mobile technology. So what will the FCC do about it? Hey… here’s an idea.

Here’s a disturbing idea whose time is about to come:

Emergency first responders across the United States may soon be relying on Russian satellites to plot the location of the mobile American distress call.

This is not an Onion story.

The Federal Communications Commission is scheduled to deliberate next week on a plan to use Russian satellites over other competing satellite systems for tracking the exact location of U.S. emergency 911 calls from mobile phones, the source of most emergency calls.

The plan is backed by major U.S. telecommunications giants like Verizon, Sprint, AT&T Mobility and T-Mobile USA, along with the Association of Public Safety Communications.

So what could possibly go wrong? Actually, there’s the potential for quite a bit of mischief here. It’s possible that the Russians currently have satellites in place which might provide more accurate tracking data. That’s clearly desirable, but it comes with a downside. The Russians will have the location of every first responder in the country at any given time.

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