Cell phones to detect terror threats


Phones studied as attack detector

By Mimi Hall, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — The government is researching whether the best defense against a chemical, biological or radiological attack might one day be right in everyone’s hands — or on their ears.

Homeland Security officials are looking into outfitting cellphones with detectors that would alert emergency responders to radiological isotopes, toxic chemicals and biological agents such as anthrax.

“If it’s successful, it’ll change the way chemical, biological and radiation detection is done,” says Rolf Dietrich, deputy director of the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency, which invests in high-tech solutions to secure the nation against terrorist attacks. “It’s a really, really neat thing.”


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Cool idea actually. Let’s just hope that the bad guys aren’t smart enough and use it to create a diversion.

I don’t want the government to put bugging devices into my cellphone. They say the devices are for reacting to emergencies, but who knows, really they’re probably useful for listening to conversations. If the government is serious about getting as many sensors as cellphones, it’s a good idea for them to ask me before they think about installing them on my phone.

Nah, your government knows what’s best for you, so they don’t need to ask.