- By Dan Verton
- May 29, 2000
BRUSSELS — Despite my travel schedule, I have not been able to escape
Navy/ Marine Corps Intranet intercepts. One faithful reader sent an e-mail
dispatch telling me that a lot of career Navy information technology professionals
are considering leaving government because of the unfairness of the mega-contracting
deal. "This project has shown that the Navy has discredited all the hard
work and dedication of the current IT work force," the contracting official
said. "It is not easy trying to make IT work with decreasing funding for
hardware, software, training and unfilled billets."
Additionally, a senior NATO official who is, shall we say, "very familiar"
with N/MCI issues told me that although the idea of getting rid of the Navy's
many disparate networks is good, N/MCI means the Navy has simply "replaced
one stovepipe with another."
BRUSSELS — Speaking of stovepipes, many other U.S. agencies, including
the State Department and the Defense Department, should take a hard look
at the number of pipes they own and operate in Brussels, according to another
senior NATO official. "Why aren't those networks to- gether?" the official
asked, adding that bundling all of the U.S. networks here could probably
save the government the equivalent of the entire national treasury.
U.S. Space and Information Command?
ZURICH — The original idea behind transferring the computer network
defense mission to U.S. Spacecom was to create a U.S. Space and Information
Command. That's what Air Force Lt. Col. Chris "Bulldog" Glaze, the information
operations guru in the Joint Chiefs of Staff's Policy and Doctrine Office,
told a gathering of information warriors last week.
Spacecom would eventually have had control of all Defense Department cyber-
tactics, from network defense to network attack and various other nifty
pieces of the cyber toolbox. But sorry, guys. "Right now, we're moving away
from that," Glaze said during the third International Electronic Warfare
Conference and Expo here, sponsored by the Association of Old Crows.
Is it only me, or did I hear a mass sigh of relief coming from Courthouse
ZURICH — Manuel Wik, chief engineer and strategic defense analyst for
the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration, said a new high-tech revolution
is under way that should replace the term "Revolution in Military Affairs,"
coined to describe how advanced computing and communications technologies
are changing the way militaries fight.
Instead, we should be talking about a Revolution in Information Affairs,
Wik said. "We can talk about the shift from iron mining to mind mining,"
he said, referring to a futuristic vision of using computing power to tap
into the minds of adversaries. Wik calls this type of capability "wetware"
Continuing on his very cerebral presentation here at the Old Crows'
electronic warfare conference, Wik described the cyberworld's Hamlet dilemma:
"To be or not to be connected." That's the problem today, Wik said.
Hamlet has Decided...
At least as far as the Internet in Great Britain is concerned. Several
international newspapers last week reported a new survey by a major research
firm that shows that most citizens in the United Kingdom are just not all
that interested in the Internet and don't feel like they are missing out
on anything. The Internet remains the realm of businesses and business-
to-business e-commerce in Great Britain, the study reportedly concluded.
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