DOD gives interim wireless guidance

The Defense Department has decided to delay issuing its final security policies on restricting wireless devices in order to seek additional comments on the proposed rules, a DOD spokesman said.

Defense Department chief information officer John Stenbit has signed off on an "interim guidance" memo that went to the service secretaries and the directors of DOD agencies last week.

The assistant secretary of Defense for command, control, communications and intelligence will gather feedback and release the final security directive once a review of it is complete, the DOD spokesman said Aug. 23. He said that there is no specific time frame for closing the comment period.

DOD would not release a copy of the interim guidance, but it did release a "DOD wireless strategy information sheet."

The draft DOD policy covers the use of commercial wireless devices, services and technologies. It directs the development of a "knowledge management process to promote the sharing of wireless technology capabilities, vulnerabilities and vulnerability mitigation strategies through the department."

The policy is designed to promote joint interoperability through the use of open standards across the department, DOD officials said.

Stenbit also issued a draft policy for wireless security at the Pentagon. It prohibits wireless connectivity with information devices to a classified network or computer and prohibits devices that are not approved.

Furthermore, devices must be disabled when in a location where there is classified information electronically stored, processed or transmitted unencrypted.

The policy requires "punitive action" for repeated violations of the policy that jeopardize the security of the Pentagon.

The policies are part of an overarching effort to bolster the security of DOD communications.

About the Author

Christopher J. Dorobek is the co-anchor of Federal News Radio’s afternoon drive program, The Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, and the founder, publisher and editor of the DorobekInsider.com, a leading blog for the Federal IT community.

Dorobek joined Federal News Radio in 2008 with 16 years of experience covering government issues with an emphasis on government information technology. Prior to joining Federal News Radio, Dorobek was editor-in-chief of Federal Computer Week, the leading news magazine for government IT decision-makers and the flagship of the 1105 Government Information Group portfolio of publications. As editor-in-chief, Dorobek served as a member of the senior leadership team at 1105 Government Information Group, providing daily editorial direction and management for FCW magazine, FCW.com, Government Health IT and its other editorial products.

Dorobek joined FCW in 2001 as a senior reporter and assumed increasing responsibilities, becoming managing editor and executive editor before being named editor-in-chief in 2006. Prior to joining FCW, Dorobek was a technology reporter at PlanetGov.com, one of the first online community centers for current and former government employees. He also spent five years at Government Computer News, another leading industry publication, covering a variety of federal IT-related issues.

Dorobek is a frequent speaker on issues involving the government IT industry, and has appeared as a frequent contributor to NewsChannel 8’s Federal News Today program. He began his career as a reporter at the Foster’s Daily Democrat, a daily newspaper in Dover, N.H. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California. He lives in Washington, DC.


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