Via: CBS News:
Amid growing concerns of security risks to members of Congress, more than 50 senators have been issued satellite phones for emergency communication, people familiar with the measures told CBS News. The devices are part of a series of new security measures being offered to senators by the Senate Sergeant at Arms, who took over shortly after the assault on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
The satellite phone technology has been offered to all 100 senators. CBS News has learned at least 50 have accepted the phones, which Senate administrative staff recommend senators keep in close proximity during their travels.
In testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee last month, Senate Sergeant at Arms Karen Gibson said satellite communication is being deployed “to ensure a redundant and secure means of communication during a disruptive event.”
Gibson said the phones are a security backstop in the case of an emergency that “takes out communications” in part of America. Federal funding will pay for the satellite airtime needed to utilize the phone devices.
A Department of Homeland Security advisory said satellite phones are a tool for responding to and coordinating government services in the case of a “man-made” or natural disaster that wipes out communication.