New Haven Register (New Haven, CT)
Units track guns using tech that could aid foes
Determined to keep track of their guns, some U.S. military units have turned to a technology that could let enemies detect troops on the battlefield, The Associated Press has found.
The rollout on Army and Air Force bases continues even though the Department of Defense itself describes putting the technology in firearms as a “significant” security risk.
The Marines have rejected radio frequency identification technology in weapons for that very reason, and the Navy said this week that it was halting its own dalliance.
RFID, as the technology is known, is infused throughout daily civilian life. Thin RFID tags help drivers zip through toll booths, hospitals locate tools and supermarkets track their stock. Tags are in some identity documents, airline baggage tags and even amusement park wristbands.
When embedded in military guns, RFID tags can trim hours off time-intensive tasks, such as weapon counts and distribution. Outside the armory, however, the same silent, invisible signals that help automate inventory checks could become an unwanted tracking beacon.