Fw: Police using Military Satellite Technology

James Daugherty (daugh@home.msen.com)
Fri, 28 Nov 1997 17:27:44 -0500

-----Original Message-----
From: DasGOAT@aol.com <DasGOAT@aol.com>

Subject: Police using Military Satellite Technology

|1984 Revisited - Latest in MILITARIZATION of Law Enforcement:
|LAW ENFORCEMENT in 4 States now using PENTAGON's
| "Satellite tracking of felons [and ultimately of "suspects"]
|is only the latest example of MILITARY technology being adapted
|to the needs of LAW ENFORCEMENT in the post-Cold War Era ...
| "Global positioning can also be used by law enforcement
|agencies to track the TARGETS OF INVESTIGATIONS. ...
| "A tracking unit can be *SURREPTITIOUSLY* POSITIONED, for
|example, by attaching it to the bottom of a suspect's car or the
|side of a boat." [Given foreseeable advances in technology, that
|unit will be reduced to "bug" size, easily planted on persons.]
| ["Global positioning technology can
| monitor criminals 24 hrs a day"]
| by William Leinknecht, Newhouse News Service
| in The San Francisco Examiner, Nov 27, 1997
| Corrections officials IN FOUR STATES are tapping into
|military satellites to track the movements of violent felons and
|sex offenders released into the community.
| Through global-positioning technology, authorities can know
|instantly if a parolee leaves home or enters a restricted zone,
|such as a school area or the neighborhood of a former victim.
| "You can literally track any place he goes 24 hours a day,"
|said Keith Feilmeier, marketing manager of Advanced Business
|Sciences, a Nebraska company offering the technology. "We can
|pinpoint the location within 4 or 5 feet."
| Satellite tracking of felons is only the latest example of
|military technology being adapted to the needs of law enforcement
|in the post-Cold War era.
| In recent years, the Pentagon has opened the door for
|commercial access to its Navistar network, a system of 24
|satellites set up in the 1970s to help guide missiles and keep
|track of enemy troops and equipment. Global positioning has been
|used for commercial purposes ranging from ship navigation and
|wilderness management to construction surveys.
| Both Advanced Business Sciences and Pro Tech Monitoring Inc.
|of Tampa, Fla., are marketing global positioning for use in
|monitoring convicted criminals who are on parole or probation.
|Better than anklets
| ABS's system is being used to track juvenile parolees in
|nine Iowa counties and adult parolees in Dallas. Pro Tech's
|equipment is being tested by the Florida Department of
|Corrections in two Tampa-area counties. The technology is also
|planned for counties in Minnesota and Pennsylvania.
| The companies say global positioning is a better way to
|monitor parolees than the use of electronic anklets, which tell
|the monitors only whether the subject has remained at home.
| ABS's system, known as ComTrak, requires the person being
|monitored to wear a tamper-resistent wristband and be within a
|few feet of a 4-pound tracking unit, which looks like a laptop
|computer and can be slung over the shoulder or worn like a
|backback or vest.
| The tracking unit constantly receives signals from a
|"triangulation" of three satellites that determine global
|coordinates. The unit sends the information in a wireless signal
|to the ComTrak communications center in Omaha, Neb., which
|transfers the data to the law enforcement agency through a fiber-
|optic line.
| ABS equips the law enforcement agency with a computer
|station and printer to go with its link to the communications
|center. Notification appears on the printer if any of the
|subjects being monitored violate geographic "hot zones" or fail
|to meet time constraints, like the amount of time given to go
|from home to school.
|Protection against tampering
| If the parolee tampers with the wristband or abandons the 4-
|pound unit, the computer sounds an alarm and gives the subject's
|last coordinates.
| Users of the system can check a subject's activities at any
|time, for example, at the end of a day or week. A complete
|record of the parolee's movements is archived at the ComTrak
|communications center.
| Feilmeier said the technology still had some limitations.
| The satellites can lose the subject in dense downtown areas
|and other places with large natural or man-made structures which
|may deflect the signal, he said. It can be particularly
|ineffective in metal highrise buildings.
| But Feilmeier said the unit reported every four seconds and
|tracked exactly where the subject entered or exited an obstructed
|area and at what time.
| William Lockwood, Pro Tech's vice president for sales and
|marketing, said global positioning could be used by law
|enforcement agencies to track the targets of investigations.
|He said a tracking unit could be *surreptitiously* positioned,
|for example, by attaching it to the bottom of a suspect's car or
|the side of a boat.
| He said the technology could also benefit victims, who could
|be added to the LIST of people automatically notified by pohone
|or beeper that an offender has entered a forbidden "zone."

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