With the almost-ubiquitous nature of GPS
, it's hard to imagine that US government still maintains the ability to degrade the system's resolution or even just turn it off for national security reasons, but every GPS satellite launched to date features what the military calls Selective Availability -- an option that hasn't been used since 2000, but has still been implemented throughout the GPS system. That's about to change, however, as the Pentagon announced yesterday that new GPS satellites will no longer feature SA. No official reason was given other than a "strong commitment to users by reinforcing that this global utility can be counted on to support peaceful civil applications around the globe," but hey -- we'll take what we can get.
[Via The Register]