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White House Announces Review of GPS Policy

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Office of Media Affairs

June 2, 1995
Contact: Rick Borchelt, (202) 456-6018



WASHINGTON -- The President has directed the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the National Security Council (NSC) to lead a comprehensive Administration review of policy issues related to the future management and use of the Global Positioning System (GPS).

GPS uses a constellation of 24 Earth-orbiting satellites that transmit timed radio signals giving their locations. By combining information from any four or more GPS satellites, someone on Earth can compute his or her location very precisely at any time of day or in any kind of weather. While GPS originally was created for national security purposes, it has been considered from its inception as a dual-use resource with civilian as well as non-military applications. Civilian use of GPS is rising dramatically.

"A clear statement of national policy is needed to balance commercial and civil uses of GPS with the essential national security aspects of the system," said Assistant to the President for Science and Technology John H. Gibbons, who also is Director of OSTP.

OSTP and NSC will co-chair an Interagency Working Group to review the broad range of GPS-related technology and policy issues affecting national security, economic policy, and foreign policy, Gibbons explained, and will make recommendations for a single, coherent national policy for GPS management and funding.

Recommendations resulting from the review will be provided to Gibbons and to the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs no later than November 1, 1995.

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