FEDERAL BYTES

Nowhere to hide

The FBI has been working with the Cellular Telephone Industry Association to develop the capability to use anyone's cellular telephone as a tracking device and it believes the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act also known as the Wiretapping Act gives it the legal footing for the proposal.

However as far as we can figure - at least here in the Washington D.C. area - the FBI would be tracking thousands of phones stuck in impenetrable traffic on the Beltway. We also wonder just how the members of Congress generals admirals and intelligence officials - or even future FBI directors - will take to having their positions easily pinned down.

Sign of the times

A Raytheon E-Systems facility in Falls Church Va. last week was bearing a sign "Now ISO 9001!" alerting people in passing cars that the facility was certified as compliant with the manufacturing standard.It was not too long ago that the Defense contractor's same facility was surrounded by rather ominous-looking fences and had an overall appearance that invited no speculation about the goings-on behind the mostly windowless walls.

The ensuing years since the end of the Cold War have brought all sorts of unanticipated changes. But we won't hold our breaths waiting for an invitation to a Raytheon E-Systems open house.

What's in a name?

FCW reported in April that the Department of Housing and Urban Development had hit a snag in the naming of its proposed CPS+ software developed with help from Caliper Corp. as a computer-based mapping tool for grant applicants to show the impact of proposed housing projects.

HUD finally settled on a name: Community 2020 which should not present a problem unless Hugh Downs and Barbara Walters see any.

That's the ticket

Even in the heyday of the Brooks Act the Defense Department's attitude toward the General Services Administration has been at best ambivalent. We were reminded of this at a GSA-sponsored conference this month.

Charlie Self GSA's assistant commissioner for information technology integration introduced a DOD speaker by joking that he would withhold her lunch ticket if she did not say flattering things about GSA."I'm unfazed " the speaker replied after arriving at the podium. "I'm from the Defense Department. I have my own lunch ticket."

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