President Donald Trump just made history yet again.
On Wednesday, the president signed an executive order that, according to SpaceNews magazine, “calls for a government-wide effort to improve the security and resilience of services that depend on the Global Positioning System [GPS] for positioning, navigation, and timing [PNT].”
A threat to national security
According to The Hill, Trump’s new order seeks to safeguard “critical infrastructure that relies on PNT services, including systems involved in transportation, electricity delivery, and communications.”
The problem is that right now, these services are vulnerable because they use low-encryption technology.
With cyberattacks now being used by militaries around the world, this lack of security could make our country very susceptible to a foreign attack that would literally cripple the United States. But Trump wants to make sure that doesn’t happen.
“The national and economic security of the United States depends on the reliable and efficient functioning of critical infrastructure,” his executive order reads, according to The Hill.
The order goes on: “Because of the widespread adoption of PNT services, the disruption or manipulation of these services has the potential to adversely affect the national and economic security of the United States. To strengthen national resilience, the Federal Government must foster the responsible use of PNT services by critical infrastructure owners and operators.”
The new executive order also calls for the Department of Homeland Security to test these systems for vulnerabilities within a year.
A step in the right direction
This seems like something that may be over most people’s heads, but it also happens to be something most of us use every day. Your car’s GPS navigation, for instance, depends on these services.
Indeed, when you sign in to Facebook on your mobile device and after dinner, the app asks you what you thought about the restaurant, you are using these services.
They have become critical to our daily existence, yet they are largely unprotected.
This is something Congress should have worked to address years ago, but they were too worried about “fixing” the 2016 election to worry about it. Luckily, Trump is in the White House, and he really is working for We the People.