Army casts Internet filter

The Army will field Internet filtering software at 100 facilities worldwide by June 1, possibly the largest such deployment in history, industry sources say.

The software falls under a networking contract awarded in February. As part of the initial rollout, the Army will install Websense Inc.'s Enterprise software to manage the Internet use of more than 500,000 employees in the United States, Europe and the Pacific region.

The software can block workers from surfing undesirable Web sites — gambling, pornography or personal shopping sites, for example. Sites can be blocked completely or just at certain times, such as during business hours.

In addition to increasing productivity by limiting Web surfing, the software is expected to increase available bandwidth.

"There's a big cost savings by limiting the amount of video and MP3 files that can be downloaded," said John Carrington, Websense chief executive officer. "That can really save on connectivity costs."

Websense Enterprise works with a master database that contains more than 400 million Web pages. It uses pattern-recognition software to search the Internet for sites in 12 languages and sorts them into 67 categories, including religion, entertainment and sex. About 500,000 pages are added daily.

The software is part of the Army Defense Information Systems Network Router Program, awarded in February by the Army's Communications-Electronics Command, Fort Monmouth, N.J. The prime contractor is OAO Corp. The contract is to be incrementally funded, with $1.8 million on the current award and a total value of about $4 million.

The contract is for cache engines, Layer 3 Gigabit Ethernet switches, and Internet filtering and reporting, said Stephen Larsen, a Fort Monmouth spokesman.

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