Publication Details

This book chapter was originally published as: Michael, K & Masters, A, Realised applications of positioning technologies in defense intelligence, in H. Abbass & D. Essam (eds), Applications of Information Systems to Homeland Security and Defense, Idea Group Publishing, 2005, Chapter 7, 167-195. Original book available here.


Spurred by the recent escalation of terrorist attacks and their increasingly devastating outcomes, defense intelligence in the context of homeland security has been drawn into the spotlight. The challenge, at both national and global levels, of managing information in order to offensively resist attack or defensively keep citizens safe from further harm has never been greater. In meeting this challenge, the tools and strategies used by relevant defensive powers are a key factor in the success or failure of all activities, ranging from small-scale homeland security administration through to large-scale all-inclusive war. In all areas within this wide scope, the adoption of positioning technologies has played an important role. Of special significance are the global positioning system (GPS), second generation (2G) and beyond mobile telephone networks (including wireless data networks), radio-frequency identification (RFID) and geographic information systems (GIS). Since most positioning technology has been developed or released for use within the commercial sector however, concerns beyond technological feasibility are raised when applications are harnessed solely for defense. The integration between commercial and military sectors; and public and private needs must be considered, and, primarily, this involves ensuring that the enforcement of homeland security does not compromise citizen rights.