Espionage, secret agents and conspiracy theories are just a few of the many elements that come to mind when integrating modern technology with the government.Â When GPS initially started gaining steam, “big brother” conspiracy theories abound.Â Today, however, GPS is simply another example of how technology is being used to enhance both military and civilian operations.
Let’s give credit where credit is due – without the government’s involvement, satellite navigation and GPS wouldn’t be what we know it as today.Â In fact, it is rather clear to see what the government’s role has been in the past and the current day, both of which give indication of what it could be in the future as well.
Development and Deployment
The early days of GPS came along with the advent of communications satellites.Â The American government was heavily involved in the research, funding, development and launching of these satellites.Â Â Years later, when major corporations started to produce their own satellites, those companies still contracted NASA and the government to put them into orbit.Â It didn’t take the government long to figure out that the same technology could have so many other potential uses.Â From surveillance to defense, GPS became a hot topic.Â Even the United States Forest Service jumped in on the action by using infrared satellites as mechanisms for tracking wildfires and locating areas that called for the most attention.
Security and Regulations
There were some hardships with GPS along the way, mainly clandestine eavesdropping and various other potential security issues.Â To help combat these problems, the government put regulations in place limiting what the satellites could be used for and how they were to be used.Â As of now, those regulations continue to be monitored and modified as needed.Â Although some view this as over-regulation, it is action that needs to be taken to ensure the security of both American and global citizens.
Maintenance and Continuous Development
GPS is still relatively new, and like many emerging technologies, it is sure to experience its share of growing pains.Â From the very beginning and to the current day, the government has played a vital role in utilizing and enhancing the technology. With the help the government has already contributed, satellite navigation might still be sitting on the drawing board instead of being used by everyday drivers around the world.
Regardless of how you may feel about the issue “big brother,” there is no denying that the government has and will continue to play an integral part in the continual development of this phenomenal technology.