The Global Positioning System: Assessing National Policies

By Scott Pace; Gerald Frost et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter Two
NATIONAL INTERESTS AND STAKEHOLDERS IN GPS POLICY

GPS satellites may be thought of as accurate, stable "clocks in space" that bathe the earth with a weak, consistent time signal. These radio waves allow receivers to passively calculate where they are and what time it is by comparing the signals of multiple satellites in the same constellation. GPS is a sophisticated space system developed and operated by hundreds of highly trained people; it is also a technical innovation that is transforming many diverse areas of human activity. In one sense, GPS is a model dual-use technology in which a military development leads to civil and commercial benefits beyond what was originally intended for the program. In another sense, GPS is a commercially driven information technology, like high-speed data networks and mobile communications, which is affecting the nature of national and international security.

This chapter provides an overview of the many interests affected by the Global Positioning System and those who may be considered stakeholders in GPS policy-that is, groups whose interests are so affected by GPS and GPS technologies that they will seek to shape GPS policy. The chapter is divided into three major sections. The first describes various national interests that are affected by GPS. The second section describes the range of views about GPS to be found in U.S. and foreign organizations, both public and private. In some cases, a single national interest is represented by one organization, such as national security in the case of the U.S. Department of Defense. In other cases, an agency may have multiple interests -- the U.S. Department of Commerce is concerned with a mixture of GPS security, scientific, and commercial issues. The third section reviews current U.S. policy commitments with respect to GPS and key, future policy decisions that will need to balance the stakeholder interests described in the chapter.

The views of U.S. government agencies and industries, foreign governments and industries, and international organizations should be considered in the U.S. formulation of GPS policy. In part, this is because there is no single source of expertise on GPS matters, and a variety of views are needed for a complete picture of potential problems. Perhaps more pragmatically, the effective im-

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The Global Positioning System: Assessing National Policies
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Preface iii
  • Contents v
  • Figures ix
  • Tables xiii
  • Summary xv
  • Acknowledgments xxix
  • Acronyms xxxi
  • Chapter One - Introduction 1
  • Chapter Two - National Interests and Stakeholders in Gps Policy 11
  • Chapter Three - National Security Assessment 45
  • Chapter Four - Commercial Assessment 93
  • Chapter Five - Institutional and Legal Assessment 163
  • Chapter Six - Conclusions and Recommendations 195
  • Appendix A - Gps Technologies and Alternatives 217
  • Appendix B - Gps History, Chronology, and Budgets 237
  • Appendix C - Gps Policy References 271
  • Appendix D - International Legal References for Gps 293
  • Bibliography 305
  • Gps Interviews 361
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