GPS Disruptions: Efforts to Assess Risks to Critical Infrastructure and Coordinate Agency Actions Should Be Enhanced, Report to Congressional Requesters   [open pdf - 5MB]

"GPS [Global Positioning System] provides positioning, navigation, and timing data to users worldwide and is used extensively in many of the nation's 16 critical infrastructure sectors, such as communications and transportation. GPS is also a key component in many of the modern conveniences that people rely on or interact with daily. However, sectors' increasing dependency on GPS leaves them potentially vulnerable to disruptions. GAO [Government Accountability Office] was asked to review the effects of GPS disruptions on the nation's critical infrastructure. GAO examined (1) the extent to which DHS has assessed the risks and potential effects of GPS disruptions on critical infrastructure, (2) the extent to which DOT [Department of Transportation] and DHS have developed backup strategies to mitigate GPS disruptions, and (3) what strategies, if any, selected critical infrastructure sectors employ to mitigate GPS disruptions and any remaining challenges. GAO reviewed documents, compared them to relevant federal guidance, and interviewed representatives and experts from federal and state governments, industry, and academia. The focus of this review was on civilian GPS uses within four critical infrastructure sectors. DHS should ensure that its GPS risk assessment approach is consistent with DHS guidance; develop a plan to measure the effectiveness of mitigation efforts; and DOT and DHS should improve collaboration. DHS concurred with the latter two recommendations but did not concur with the first. GAO continues to believe that improving the risk assessment approach will capitalize on progress DHS has made and will improve future efforts."

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Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/
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Listed on November 13, 2013 [Critical Releases]