- By Dan Verton
- Mar 26, 2000
The N/MCI Subsidy
My well-disguised mole in Navy headquarters reports that the Navy last
week conducted a down-select competition between the four potential prime
Navy/-Marine Corps Intranet vendors. Despite some initial concerns about
at least two of the vendors' pricing schemes, all made the cut, sources
say. Bidding vendors include Computer Sciences Corp., Electronic Data Systems
Inc., General Dynamics and IBM Corp.
However, front-line sources report that the N/MCI vessel was last seen
sinking fast. One source referred to N/MCI as a "massive subsidy" that will
rob Peter (shore installations) to pay Paul (neglected fleet infrastructure).
According to one front-line contracting staffer, the Navy recently issued
a memorandum expressing concern about "contract bundling," such as the large
seat management-like structure of N/MCI.
Sources say the memo discouraged the practice and requires Navy commands
to conduct a business case analysis before they can do similar contracts.
I've been informed that my DISA listening post may be in need of some
"fine tuning," after I handed the DISA throne to Air Force Lt. Gen. William
Donahue in March 13's column. Sources say he's heading for the First Civ
I've since deployed a hasty antenna across the top of a tree on Courthouse
Road, using a rock and some slash wire, and have picked up signals that
the Air Force has nominated Maj. Gen Harry Raduege from Space Command as
its DISA-head pick. "This, in fact, makes sense," says one insider, because
Spacecom seems to be taking control of everything but the kitchen sink when
it comes to the Pentagon's computer networks.
Phil, Is That You?
The Army has tapped Phillip Loranger to be its new director of biometrics.
Loranger is known for his staunch support of using biometric security devices.
"Passwords are cool, but passwords are the way we get into systems," said
Loranger, the former chief of the Command and Control Protect Division in
the Army's Information Assurance Office. "Biometrics is you: This is your
finger and nobody else's."
But my mobile subscriber unit reports that one of Phil's first tasks
will be to figure out how to determine if somebody has logged on to an Army
system using a dead finger liberated from the hand of a good guy. Not to
worry Phil, there's plenty of deadwood available inside the Beltway for
NIPRNET, SIPRNET, ZIPPERNET?
My cadre of Potomac River code talkers have deciphered a message from
the front lines of the information assurance battle that is arguing for
the establishment of a ZIPPERNET. The network would once and for all come
to terms with the fact that the SIPRNET and the Joint World Wide Intelligence
Communications System are just as much a part of the bigger network picture
as are the unclassified NIPRNET and Internet. It's all one network, sources
say, adding that entryways and exit channels can be found.
In fact, the Army plans to march the ZIPPERNET idea up to the information
operations community inside "the building" this month.