Event Coverage

September 18, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

Common aspects of life have increased in importance as the intelligence community girds to provide an accurate assessment of threats to decision makers. Food, water, energy and disease are moving up the priority list as disruptive elements worldwide, according to the U.S. director of national intelligence (DNI).

September 18, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

Demands that the intelligence community pursue operations that are absent any controversy are putting the nation at risk, warned the U.S. director of national intelligence (DNI). James R. Clapper described how a “perfect storm” of document leaks and budget cuts have led to a loss of trust with allies and partners and forced decisions to stop intelligence collection on some targets.

September 18, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) today released its 2014 National Intelligence Strategy of the United States of America in one version only—unclassified. James R. Clapper, U.S. director of national intelligence (DNI), rolled out the new strategy in his address to the opening plenary session at the AFCEA/INSA Intelligence and National Security Summit 2014, being held September 18-19 in Washington, D.C.

September 18, 2014
By Rita Boland

The intelligence community is striving to determine how it can work with industry early, before requirements for capabilities are confirmed, to get out ahead of challenges. Leaders want to adopt technology in some of the first phases rather than at the end. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) is looking to standardize capabilities across the intelligence community, determining how its many members can collaborate.

September 17, 2014
By Rita Boland

Cyber is the prime concern of the intelligence community, Sean Kanuck, national intelligence officer for cyber issues, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, said today at the Global Identity Summit in Tampa. Not only is cyber an immense problem in itself, but it also pervades all other national security concerns, including biometrics.

September 17, 2014
By Rita Boland

The password won’t die, but it’s killing us.

That was the message this morning from Jeremy Grant, senior executive adviser, National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC), at the Global Identity Summit in Tampa. Estimates put the blame for 76 percent of network intrusions on weak passwords. Beyond security, they also affect commerce, as the majority of customers will leave websites rather than create accounts. Passwords are not beloved and are not doing us any favors, Grant explained.

September 16, 2014
By Rita Boland

“I’ve always assumed they enjoyed telling my story from their point of view.”

Frank Abagnale, the famous teenage confidence man turned law-enforcement adviser and expert on forgery, embezzlement and secure documents, spoke those words today to a crowd at the Global Identity Summit in Tampa, explaining that he never met most of the people who have created entertainment products about his life. Nor has he earned any money, because of his agreement with the U.S. government. The benefit has been an unsought notoriety that now allows him to tell his story of redemption and to explain that no technology can take the place of people with good character.

September 17, 2014
By Rita Boland

The National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) announced three new pilot programs this morning worth approximately $3 million. An additional almost $7 million is allocated for continued efforts in subsequent years.

Confyrm was awarded the largest contract, valued at around $1.2 million. It will pilot a shared signals solution to mitigate the impact of account takeovers and fake accounts through early fraud detection and notification with special emphasis on consumer privacy.

September 16, 2014
By Rita Boland

The FBI’s Next Generation Identification (NGI) system went live last week, replacing the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System and improving accuracy. According to experts, the new system offers 99.6 percent correct identification versus 92 percent with the former. The NGI enables automation of 93 percent of searches. Other upgrades include connections with the National Palm Print System, an iris-modality repository and capabilities for more mobile detections.

September 16, 2014
By Rita Boland

The new generation of college graduates “don’t know or seem to care that their data is being [distributed] and sold to others, because they’re getting free stuff.” Duane Blackburn, currently with MITRE and formerly the assistant director for homeland security at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, made this point at the Global Identity Summit in Tampa today to explain generational differences regarding information sharing and privacy.

September 16, 2014
By Rita Boland

Biometric identification moved past fingerprints long ago, and the range of modalities is helping the keepers of law and order make a big difference in several ways. Last year, authorities apprehended a former European finance minister who had stolen thousands  of Euros by using voice recognition software to identify the perpetrator through a phone message. Another tool combines facial recognition with a breathalyzer so that in addition to capturing blood alcohol content, the device can send a photo of the person to a repository website.

September 11, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The Defense Information System Agency (DISA) had been identified as the Defense Department’s cloud broker, but that was rescinded just last week, reported Lt. Gen. Mark Bowman, USA, director, command, control, communications and computers/cyber and chief information officer, Joint Chiefs of Staff.

"People can do a business case analysis and decide where they want to go to get their cloud support, if someone can figure out the secret sauce on how to get it cheaper. It has to be provided to the right security standards, and it will have to be checked,” Gen. Bowman stated, while speaking at AFCEA TechNet Augusta 2014.

September 11, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The Online Show Daily: Day 3

The final day of AFCEA TechNet Augusta 2014 kicked off with a solemn remembrance of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks that rocked the nation. The conference then, necessarily, moved on to the future.

September 10, 2014
George I. Seffers

Although the U.S. Defense Department and the military industry are feeling the effects of constrained budgets, they have not yet been forced to find truly innovative solutions, Mark Bigham, chief innovation officer for Raytheon Intelligence and Information Services, told the AFCEA TechNet Augusta 2014 audience.

Bigham quoted Winston Churchill as saying that Americans will always do the right thing after they’ve exhausted all other alternatives. He also cited another Churchill quote: "Gentlemen, we have run out of money, now we have to think."

September 10, 2014
George I. Seffers

Mission success in the cyber arena, especially in a constrained budget environment, requires both cooperation and innovation, but military and industry officials speaking at AFCEA TechNet Augusta 2014 say they are not yet seeing enough of either.

Maj. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, USA, the new commanding general, U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence, Fort Gordon, initiated the discussion, saying that cyber is “inherently joint,” and warning against stovepiped systems and information for different mission areas, such as cyber, signal and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. The Army, he said, has to cooperate with the other services, the Department of Defense, the National Security Agency, industry and multinational partners.

September 11, 2014
By George I. Seffers

Many Army soldiers are receiving new vehicles and new tactical communications systems, but often those systems are so complex soldiers have difficulties setting up and taking down their tactical networks. The issue limits mobility on the battlefield because units hesitate to move knowing it can take hours to re-establish network communications, said Lt. Gen. Patrick Donahue, USA, the new deputy commanding general, U.S. Army Forces Command.

September 11, 2014
By George I. Seffers

Senior military leaders will try next week to hash out differences on the command and control (C2) of the Joint Information Enterprise, or JIE, said Lt. Gen. Mark Bowman, USA, director, command, control, communications and computers/cyber and chief information officer, Joint Chiefs of Staff. Gen. Bowman made the remarks while addressing the audience at the AFCEA TechNet Augusta 2014 conference, Augusta, Georgia.

September 10, 2014
George I. Seffers

In his farewell address, President Dwight Eisenhower coined the phrase "military industrial complex" to describe the relationships between the military, Congress and industry. That complex no longer exists, according to Tom Davis, a former vice president for General Dynamics. Davis made the comments during an industry panel at the AFCEA TechNet Augusta 2014 conference in Augusta, Georgia.

September 9, 2014
By George I. Seffers

U.S. Army officials struggled during AFCEA TechNet Augusta 2014 in Augusta, Georgia, to discuss the future of cyber operations when much of that future is currently unknowable, in large part because no one knows the full effects or challenges of emerging technologies.

September 10, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The cyber era requires partnerships and information sharing across the agencies, industries and nations, said Maj. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, USA, the new commanding general, U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence, Fort Gordon, during a keynote address at the AFCEA TechNet 2014 Augusta conference, Augusta, Georgia.

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