DOD keeps wireless on hold

DOD wireless security policy

The Defense Department will continue a moratorium on wireless devices in Pentagon-area facilities and networks until "security vulnerabilities can be fully assessed" and a wireless design for the Pentagon is developed, a new memorandum from DOD officials says.

The moratorium, which has been in place since July 30, 2001, comes as DOD issues a wireless security policy for the Pentagon.

The policy "establishes a balanced approach for mitigating vulnerabilities and security risks while supporting the responsible introduction of new technologies into the workplace," the memo says.

The Sept. 25 memo is signed by John Stenbit, DOD chief information officer, and Howard Becker, DOD's acting director of administration and management.

Stenbit and Becker have asked the National Security Agency to develop a database of wireless technology vulnerabilities for the department. "The database will provide an initial assessment of the potential vulnerabilities of specified wireless features and capabilities along with the associated risks and countermeasures recommendations," the memo says.

DOD also will work to promote a departmentwide wireless knowledge management process to promote the sharing of wireless technology capabilities, vulnerabilities and vulnerability mitigation throughout the department, the memo says.

DOD has been working on a wireless policy that will cover the entire department.

The Pentagon policy — which excludes emergency and tactical radios and one-way communication devices — will be reviewed annually to keep up with technological changes.

In addition to the moratorium, it prohibits connectivity to a classified network or computer and does not allow synchronization with devices that are not approved by DOD.

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, 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,, 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, 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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