Customs planning classified net

Customs Secure Data Network notice

The U.S. Customs Service is looking for vendors with security clearances to build a classified network for sensitive law enforcement data.

Customs is expected to issue a draft proposal Oct. 25 that will be available only to vendors that already have certified they have a top-secret facility security clearance and personnel holding valid security clearances.

S.W. "Woody" Hall, the chief information officer at Customs, described the project as a "classified network allowing agents to move information around that we don't want anyone to get hold of."

"Customs requires secure, computer-to-computer connectivity among its intelligence components and field activities for the purpose of moving classified and selective law enforcement sensitive data," according to a request for information for the project.

The network would provide a scalable infrastructure, capable of supporting Customs' growing mission in the fight against terrorism, according to the request for information on the project. Its architecture will be based on commercial off-the-shelf products and software applications whenever possible.

The contract award is expected in March 2003, but Customs warns that "vendors should realize that this is a funded effort with limited resources." No estimate on cost was available from Customs.

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