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Posts Tagged ‘DoD’

I’ve never seen this, but as one trusty Prologuer pointed out, the defense bill was just passed. I’m quick to rebut that what follows is not just defense procurement but a bevvy (and incomplete) summary of what has been contracted government-wide over the last week.  There’s over one hundred and thirteen separate contracts listed by the Washington Post on the flip side – try to find your favorite! I’ve still never seen this many in the Post before…

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The US Coast Guard has been the focal point of many scrutinous eyes as of late. The highly anticipated and highly funded program, Integrated Deepwater System Program (Deepwater) is a 25-year, $24 billion program to integrate and modernize the fleet of aircraft, ships, logistics and command systems of the US Coast Guard. This program was started in 2002 and it has been a contentious program since the beginning.

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After perusing some of my favorite Military rags the other day, I came across a lesser known, but gem of a magazine called National Defense. It was time for the February edition. This publication is well read at the Pentagon and no doubt by those contractors who work with the DoD. It usually has a flare of “look at my knew gun” or “I woke up and there were seven new digits in my bank account” type stories, however, Sandra I. Erwin wrote a piece about Pentagon procurement officers working to keep their programs on budget. She was borderline cavalier with some of points of egregious overspending, but she brought up a wonderfully overlooked law called the Nunn-McCurdy Amendment.

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The hits keep on comin’. Yesterday, both the Federal Times and Government Executive, a pair of publications made for civil service and national security information technocrats, respectively published stories relating to the RFID embedded passport cards and the basic shortcomings of the technology’s use in government. While the Federal Times story hits on much the same points already reported on, Government Executive takes an extensive look at the hype and disappointment surrounding RFID across various government agencies.

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As was reported last week, the State Department intends to issue new passport cards embedded with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chips. This is but the latest in a long string of technologies being implemented at our nation’s borders and seaports. Fusion Centers, virtual fences (through a program called SBInet) and 10-point-finger scans (through a program called Registered Traveler / US-VISIT) are among the major projects being promoted by the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Defense Department in an effort to secure borders, airports and seaports from illegal immigrants and terrorists. (more…)

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It seems the editors at Stars and Strips have recently had a paradigm shift. The New York Times is reporting that senior editors at the paper have sent letters to the Department of Defense asking for full disclosure on the paper’s financing vis-à-vis a program called America Supports You. Stars and Stripes is funded via traditional advertising and government appropriations, but the issue at hand is that the newspaper has been used as a contracting agent for America Supports You. Apparently, the editors feel this financing situation could compromise the “independence” of the armed services newspaper. (more…)

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Biometrics is the buzz in identification technology these days. Saturday, the Washington Post reported on a $1 billion project, called Next Generation Identification, being shopped around by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to build the worlds “largest computer database of peoples’ physical characteristics.” The FBI already houses one of the largest databases of biometric, but this 10-year contract will look to expand the database and make it searchable to the over 900,000 federal, state and local law enforcement agents who have access to it now. Fingerprints, DNA, iris patters, palm prints and face shape are among the most common measures of biometrics – but soon, voice signature, walking patters and other less definable characteristics will be able to give away your identity to law enforcement, for good or ill.

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