Before, when budding Big Brothers wanted to watch over their facilities, they needed to spend a bundle on infrastructure in order to do it. But with the growth of muscular wireless networks, all those fiber optic cables (and the gear associated with them) have become less necessary. And that means locking down an area has suddenly gotten a whole lot cheaper.Take the Statue of Liberty. Officials there are putting together a wireless bomb detection network, UPI reports.
The network sends a fully encrypted digital signal over a private broadband network created solely for detecting bombs. The network's bomb technicians receive X-ray images, as well as voice over Internet audio, transmitted in real-time from the national landmark's site. The system works round-the-clock delivering video and audio data.But there are drawbacks, of course. Wireless networks tend to be a whole lot easier to illicitly access than traditional ones. A single misconfigured wireless access point could give a hacker all the room he needs to wiggle his way into the network. But, given the potential cost savings, I'm guessing it's a tradeoff that more and more security managers are going to be willing to make.THERE'S MORE: "After spending more than $4.5 billion on screening devices to monitor the nation's ports, borders, airports, mail and air, the federal government is moving to replace or alter much of the antiterrorism equipment, concluding that it is ineffective, unreliable or too expensive to operate," the Times reports.Among the problems:
Radiation monitors at ports and borders that cannot differentiate between radiation emitted by a nuclear bomb and naturally occurring radiation from everyday material like cat litter or ceramic tile.Air-monitoring equipment in major cities that is only marginally effective because not enough detectors were deployed and were sometimes not properly calibrated or installed. They also do not produce results for up to 36 hours - long after a biological attack would potentially infect thousands of people.Passenger-screening equipment at airports that auditors have found is no more likely than before federal screeners took over to detect whether someone is trying to carry a weapon or a bomb aboard a plane.Postal Service machines that test only a small percentage of mail and look for anthrax but no other biological agents.