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Xairos Newsletter: November 22, 2021
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Xairos Newsletter: November 22, 2021
✍️ Theme of the Week

The Threat is Closer than You Think
Last week Russia shocked the world by launching a wildly destructive anti-satellite missile.
Experts speculate that their goal was to send a message that they can easily exploit our reliance on GPS.
Or maybe they want to keep up with China, who launched their own anti-satellite tests and possible "satellite crushing weapon."
But a recent demonstration by an IBM hacker showed that you don't need a missile to hobble our timing-based infrastructure; all you need is a Raspberry Pi.
A new solution is needed.

Last Week's Theme: Lunar Standard Time

🏆 Achievements
💼 Conferences



📰 Industry News
🎓 The More You Know...

Interesting discussions at the "Protecting GPS Satellites, Signals, and America" conference from a range of US policy experts, including the following quotes:

"Some aspects of GPS are probably more critical than others, so I would submit that the timing signal is probably the single most important one, and so in having a diversity of ways of getting timing signals, either as replacement of or into a challenging environment would therefore be a higher priority on the stack.
What I would not encourage is the government going out and contracting and trying to build one of these things (an alternative to GPS) itself. The government didn't pave the National Highway system.
We probably should be looking for faster cycle time from the private sector, but the government can incentivize that."
Dr. Scott Pace, GWU, Space Studies Institute; Former Executive Secretary, US Space Council

"And when I looked at where the single points of failure were in this system, if you want to call it that, in which Russia and the United States are entangled, one that stood out immediately was our GPS vulnerability.
In case we had forgotten that these systems are not invulnerable, that we are highly dependent on them, and that in the context of a confrontation between Russia and the West over a place like Ukraine, a place that the Russians believe is absolutely existentially vital to them, they wanted to remind us that that confrontation might not go the way we want it to go."
George Beebe, VP for Studies, Center for the National Interest; Author “The Russia Trap

"The Department of Homeland Security has determined that GPS signals are needed by 13 of the 16 critical infrastructure sectors. But unfortunately GPS signals are very weak and easy to disrupt. Unless GPS services are quickly restored, backup timing, equipment, networks and digital broadcasts begins to desynchronize. And one of the worst impacts of a prolonged disruption is that most US telecommunications networks will be severely disabled within 24 hours."
Greg Winfree, Director, Texas Transportation Institute, Former Asst Secretary, US Department of Transportation

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