Blog Editor’s Note: I posted this item last week fairly soon after first seeing it. Having had more time to think about this, and discussing it with a variety of satnav experts in the US and elsewhere, I am re-writing my notes.
I now have to conclude that the concerns in the below article are overblown.
BeiDou does have the ability for two-way communications – but only with specially equipped users who would undoubtedly be aware that this is happening. The vast majority of users, probably 99%, will use ordinary, mass produced, receive-only chips. These will listen to the timing/navigation signal and that is all they will do.
By the way, specially equipped folks have been communicating with GPS, Galileo, and GLONASS for years through a search and rescue application. There is nothing necessarily sinister about BeiDou having a similar, though probably more advanced, capability.