DOD ready to roll out smart cards

The Defense Department next month will begin replacing millions of its identification

cards with smart cards.

DOD will issue about 50,000 smart cards next month, and at least 3 million

DOD employees will eventually have a card, said Michael Green, director

of DOD's public-key infrastructure program management office.

One of the main applications for the smart cards will be to serve as

the hardware token to carry digital certificates, which store digital signatures

used during electronic transactions.

DOD employees "need hardware certificates to do contracting," Green

said. "My certificate will have to be on a smart card in order to do contracts."

The first smart cards issued will contain 32K of memory; 13K will be

set aside for the digital certificates, said Green, speaking Tuesday at

the E-Gov information assurance conference in Alexandria, Va. Another 7K

will be allotted for applications each military service decides to implement,

such as secure network sign-on and mess hall privileges.

DOD awarded smart card contracts to three vendors using the General

Services Administration's governmentwide Smart Access Common Identification

contract. The three vendors are Gemplus SA, Oberthur Card Systems and Schlumberger

Ltd.

DOD expects to issue 3 million certificates by October 2002.

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