September 2000


Briefly

Cell 911 calls go outside

Emergency 911 calls made from cell phones on the Oak Ridge Reservation don’t go to Lab responders. They go instead to outside agencies, which could cost crucial minutes in responding to accidents.

Such a situation arose on August 22 in Portsmouth when a subcontract employee was seriously burned by a chemical reaction during a process demonstration. A 911 call from a cell phone went to the local sheriff’s office instead of to on-site emergency staff.

Similarly, a 911 call from a cell phone on the ORR would go to any of a number of surrounding county agencies. In an emergency, says 911 Systems Administrator Jan Thomas, call 911 from an ORNL phone, radio the Laboratory Shift Superintendent’s office (station 10) or pull a fire alarm box.

Laptops, encoding software considered ‘spy tools’ abroad

The U.S. State Department’s Office of Diplomatic Security has issued a warning that Egypt, France and Russia have decreed that laptop computers with encryption capability are considered “spy tools” and will be seized or denied entry into those countries.

Software with encryption capabilities includes such household names as Netscape, Eudora, Windows and Entrust, says Contracts’ Patty Henegar, the Lab’s export compliance manager.

Says the State Department warning, “If encrypted software is not removed from your PC prior to traveling, you risk seizure of the PC, being denied entry and possible incarceration.”