By Any Other Name...

Information Strike Force, EDS' name for the conglomeration of companies handling the Navy Marine Corps Intranet, is about to become passe.

Bill Richard, EDS' NMCI point man, said the name is changing to more accurately reflect what the group does.

Navy Rear Adm. Charles Munns, NMCI director, had a more colorful explanation: "From a security point of view, we were finding that Strike Force team members were having a hard time going through airport security with a laptop that says 'Strike Force' right on it," he said. "They kept having to explain that they're not a terrorist cell strike force, but work for the Navy."

Still to be decided: the group's new name. Suggestions, anyone?

DOD's FOIA Exemption

The Defense Department, which has been in the business of protecting the c0untry for half a century, would like to be given some of the same considerations now offered to the start-up Homeland Security Department.

Case in point: DHS has been granted Freedom of Information Act exemptions, allowing agency workers to protect information in their files from being released to the public. DOD deserves the same, says Navy Capt. Robert Magee, deputy director for industrial base capabilities and readiness in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Infrastructure protection is really "mission assurance" for DOD, because the failure of critical assets would disrupt operations, he said earlier this month at a National Defense Industrial Association security conference in Reston, Va.

The department needs to protect information on its infrastructure, which includes everything from personnel and health affairs to command, control, communications, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets.

Of special concern is information DOD receives from the private sector, which controls about 80 percent of the nation's critical infrastructure, including utilities, telecommunications and transportation networks.

The defense industrial base must coordinate critical infrastructure protection efforts from top to bottom, because their collective assets represent the targets that any U.S. enemy would love to hit, he said.

Companies are concerned that information about their vulnerabilities could be used against them, so they hesitate to share it unless there is some protection in place. DHS got around this problem by getting Congress to provide a FOIA exemption — and DOD would like the same, Magee said.

Graduating by Phone

Sprint and the Ohio State University recently teamed up to help Bob Keiffer, Army chief warrant officer IV, watch his daughter graduate. Keiffer wasn't sitting in the crowd at Ohio Stadium, but he watched the commencement activities from a computer at an undisclosed location in Iraq.

Keiffer was deployed to Iraq in February from Fort Campbell, Ky., as a member of the 101st Airborne Division. He was unable to make it home to see his only daughter graduate. Elizabeth Keiffer graduated from OSU with a degree is sociology.

After learning of Keiffer's wish to see his daughter graduate, Sprint contacted OSU about arranging a Webcast that could be viewed overseas. Streaming video of the graduation ceremony was sent to a Web server that Keiffer accessed in Iraq using a Web address established exclusively for him.

Sprint used its new 8100 PCS Vision phone with built-in camera to take a picture of Elizabeth as she received her diploma. The phone also enabled Elizabeth to record a 10-second voice message for her father. The photo and voice greeting were then sent instantly via Sprint's network to Keiffer's e-mail address.

Chief Warrant Officer Keiffer sent an e-mail message after the ceremony to tell Sprint how happy he was to have had such an opportunity, according to a company spokeswoman.

Project Yourself

DOD stresses security — physical security, e-mail security, wireless security.... In fact, the department has invested big bucks to ensure its systems are hack-proof and encrypted so prying eyes can't see the department's data traffic.

But at the Joint Warrior Interoperability Demonstration (JWID) at Naval Sea Systems Command in Dahlgren, Va., in late June, one person read his e-mail. What he may not have realized, however, is that his correspondence appeared on a large projection screen at the front of the operations center for dozens of people to see, including the Interceptor. Oops.

JWID is an annual event that tests technologies for their capabilities in a joint warfighting environment. The evaluations from the event can mean millions of dollars for the development of technologies for warfighters.

"I'm not sure what quite has been achieved (other than improving the U.S. [gross domestic product])," the e-mail message read.

It looks like at least one participant has given his evaluation early. n

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