Admiral calls for improved protection for classified data

PACOM Background Information on ACE

HONOLULU — Defense Department officials need a better way to compartmentalize classified information as part of an information assurance program that also embodies information sharing, the deputy commander of the U.S. Pacific Command said.

In a speech at the annual AFCEA International Technet Asia-Pacific conference, Vice Adm. Gary Roughead called for the development of devices that will allocate access to different levels of classified information through the use of restrictive devices, which will use highly agile virtual private networks to provide multilevel security. These devices will provide access to different levels of information based on the role of individuals in addition to their nationality, Roughead said.

Pacific Command officials are working to develop an Agile Coalition Environment to enable the exchange of information among U.S. forces and allies, Roughead said. Command officials are also working on a Coalition Theater Logistics System to provide support to allies. Partner countries for this system include Thailand and Australia, according to Pacific Command documents.

But military officials need an alternative to their public key infrastructure — digital certificates used to authenticate e-mails — because the system's exponential growth has created a huge database that slows down searches for the correct certificate, Roughead said.

The planned architecture for ForceNet — meant to be the Navy/Marine Corps command and control system of the future — is "better than it was just a few months ago," with increased benefits for operational commanders, he said.

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