Intercepts

AKO clampdown; Stenbit's swan song?; Autodin's quiet fade; Bad connectivity?

AKO clampdown

The Army apparently wants to make it difficult for anybody to leak service documents using its popular Army Knowledge Online (AKO) Web portal.

Army officials announced that as of Jan. 19, they will bust AKO users autoforwarding official mail to e-mail accounts not ending in certain domains — .mil, .gov, .ndu.edu, .usma.edu, .nato.int, .marshallcenter.org, .apcss.org and .pims.org. AKO officials will also direct e-mail messages not ending in these domains back to the users' AKO inbox.

Army regulations "prohibit the practice of autoforwarding official mail to nonofficial accounts. To comply with [these regulations], AKO is discontinuing the option to autoforward e-mail to nonofficial accounts," said a Jan. 15 AKO postmaster e-mail to AKO users.

Looks like the Interceptor is going to have to get a .mil address.

Stenbit's swan song?

By now it is no secret that Defense Department chief information officer John Stenbit will soon be leaving his post. But his exact date of departure has been the subject of much conjecture at water coolers.

Does Input, which hosted a breakfast Jan. 20 at which Stenbit spoke, have the inside scoop? Perhaps.

In his introduction, Stenbit was called DOD's CIO, "at least for the next couple of weeks, before he moves on to greener pastures."

So if you haven't gotten out to see Mr. Stenbit speak recently, you'd better do it soon.

Autodin's quiet fade

For the first time, the Defense Message System (DMS) is processing all DOD general message traffic.

The Defense Information Systems Agency previously operated the legacy Automatic Digital Network (Autodin) to back up DMS until the new system proved it could handle everyday traffic.

DISA planned an Autodin retirement ceremony for Sept. 30, 2003, but that got postponed when DMS wasn't quite ready for prime time. Now the Interceptor learns DOD's buyer and administrator of computer and telephone networks quietly turned off Autodin for general message traffic, a Lockheed Martin Corp. official said.

The 40-year-old Autodin system still shadows DMS for processing emergency messages, the official said. Lockheed oversaw the twice-delayed, multibillion-dollar effort to distribute DOD classified voice, video and data messages.

So is there still hope for an Autodin retirement party?

Bad connectivity?

DOD likes to think of itself as the most connected institution in the world. With the Global Information Grid-Bandwidth Expansion and Tactical Communications Satellites coming online in the next several years, the gap is just going to widen.

But what happens when always being connected isn't all it's cracked up to be? Marine Brig. Gen. Robert Schmidle knows.

Speaking at the Institute for Defense and Government Advancement's Network Centric Warfare conference Jan. 21, Schmidle determined the exact point in time when being connected became a nuisance.

Ulysses Grant was the first to use the telegraph, Schmidle said, speaking of the Union's commanding general who drove the Confederacy's Robert E. Lee to surrender. "For better or worse, it connected him to Washington. And we've all been paying for it ever since."

We're fairly certain that Schmidle, director of the Marines' Expeditionary Force Development Center, was speaking in jest and would surely accept all of the connectivity offered to him. n

Intercept something? Send it to antenna@fcw.com.

NEXT STORY: Cities not getting DHS grants

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