PocketBlue walks a beat

PocketBlue walks a beat

Several Washington-area federal and local law enforcement agencies are testing Aether Systems Inc.'s PocketBlue program for real-time mobile communications via 90 handheld devices donated by the Marlborough, Mass., company.

Officers can use PocketBlue to request data about license plates, guns, people and stolen articles. Queries go simultaneously to the FBI's National Crime Information Center, National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System and local motor vehicle authority.

PocketBlue runs on notebook PCs, Palm OS devices and Research in Motion's BlackBerry personal digital assistants.

Individuals and groups can exchange messages. Only sworn law enforcement personnel can use the Cellular Digital Packet Data service, signing in with their user names, passwords and IP addresses. E-mail messages are encrypted via the new federal Advanced Encryption System standard.

The GCN Lab will review PocketBlue in a forthcoming issue.

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