Intercepts

DARPA hits the small screen

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency made its TV debut last week, featured as a prominent story line in NBC's "The West Wing."

The political drama did not favorably portray the Defense Department think tank. DARPA was depicted as a scatterbrained organization that spends millions of taxpayer dollars on far-fetched and ludicrous projects — in this case, mind control. The agency is no doubt smarting from such an absurd portrayal on one of television's highest-rated shows.

Yet, as noted on the show, DARPA is the same organization that gave us stealth technology, the Internet and Global Positioning System technology.

DARPA officials, as might be expected, had no comment.

Not exactly a win-win deal

Juniper Networks Inc. beat out Cisco Systems Inc. to build and install all the IP routers for DOD's expansion of the Global Information Grid.

The Dec. 31 GIG-Bandwidth Expansion equipment contract award marks Juniper's biggest win over arch rival Cisco in the government marketplace. But both companies claim victory.

"We produced a proposal technically superior with the best value," said Dubhe Beinhorn, vice president of Juniper's federal systems division.

"The government wants to build multivendor environments," a Cisco official said. "It wants to spread the wealth."

Vendors had heard that the Defense Information Systems Agency planned to split the IP router work. Not true, a DISA spokesperson said. n

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