Friday, December 05, 2008

Attackers used Geography tools; technology to disguise geographic orgins

On Wednesday, the front page of the Washington Post published a story, "Gunmen used technology as a tactical tool: Mumbai attackers had GPS units, satellite maps."

The author writes that the attackers set sail from Karachi, Pakistan to Mumbai, India using GPS navigation tools and detailed maps, as they were not experienced sailors. They also used high-resolution satellite maps to understand the city's layout and buildings before they arrived there.

Something else that I find interesting is that the organization claiming responsibility produced the email (their announcement) used a Urdu voice-recognition software to '"anonymatize" regional spelling and accents so police would be unable to identify their ethnic or geographic origins.'

While these terrorists used common technology tools that are easily available, India's police still use World War II-era rifles and Indian security forces lag technologically behind.

This continues the trend of geographic technology being used for the wrong reasons.

2 comments:

Simon said...

Nice post, but you can't forget that most of this technology (GPS, High res imagery) was originally developed for and is continually being improved for use by the military. It's a strange thing to say they're being used in the wrong way when that's the exact purpose they were first made to be used for. You can't just flag them as being the wrong use when you don't support the party using them, which i don't in this case. US Army using GPS to mis/guide their missiles vs. another group using GPS to find a location of someone they're fighting a jihad against

Anonymous said...

Simon opined: "It's a strange thing to say they're being used in the wrong way when that's the exact purpose they were first made to be used for."

Actually not. Their purpose was and is to defend the U.S. and its allies not kill innocent civilians like these jihadist did. So not strange at all.