Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by Doober, Dec 5, 2012.
Almost half a $B down the proverbial rathole! Pity the poor presses at the Bureau of Engraving as they struggle to keep up with the waste.
This is DHS, remember. Nappy's people are easily stymied by the notion of "push-to-talk." After all, it's not texting.
TSA employees use two types of radios. The cheap ones are the "whisper radios" that the one-stripers use to give hottie alerts to each other when they are working the Nude-O-Scopes. They use voice inversion scrambling. This may sound impressive at first, but it's an outdated technology that was criticized 20 (twenty) years ago on USENET:
Note that the author here had a ncsc.mil email address, so I think it safe to assume he knows what he's talking about. So the TSA spent $11 million on ~60 year old technology that was ridiculed when Motorola tried to unsuccessfully market it to consumers 20 years ago.
The $430 million blown on radios that TSA supervisors don't know how to use are Motorola XTS handhelds. They're rock-solid, advanced pieces of equipment that serve their purpose if the end user is competent and properly trained.
You might recall that on 9/11, the different first responders in NYC could not communicate with each other. I believe I read that during Sandy they still had difficulty doing so. I would expect DHS to be even worse.
I was hoping it was a radio problem, but alas, as Caradoc expected...
The radio issue on 911 stems from the freuquency used and the structural steel interferring with the sinal. Now for the most part major fire departments are on 800mhz Digital (DX) and no signal strength issues for the most part although sky scrapers will have a major effect on signals of all types (I couldnt get 3G or LTE in NYC during our deployment... edge only).
Im not surprised on the radios but then again your average DHS dolt can barely read let alone handle complicated equipment with onboard cryptology.
Then again during Sandy we had no problems with our radios/comms we could communicate with other DMAT team 50-75 miles away. Then again our comm guys mostly retired but some active duty from LE/Fire agencies and one used to work for motorola so they could work with anything in our communications cache. Our radios are motorola Multi-band P25 radios for which the method of voice encryption (sounds like a data stream with noise on my scanner without the decryption and key put in) is light years beyond voice inversion or cheaper methods. I think are similar to XTS2500 or XTS5000 but with yellow outer cases and cost was like $2500 a piece .
Getting through the frequency screen and accessing different features was easy for me as it was about the same difficulty as working a iphone. We could reset the security keys over the air and track movements via the GPRS (GPS radio beacons in the simplest explination).
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