We ought to be careful about further encouraging NSA to expand its mission on the domestic Internet front, writes Loring Wirbel, Communications Editor of EE Times.
Even as George Bush in his State of the Union speech gave Congress until Friday (Feb. 1) to pass the type of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act update he wanted (Congress actually gave Bush a 15-day extension of the horrendous Protect America Act), the Washington Post reported that the president had signed a classified executive order, PD54, putting the National Security Agency in charge of monitoring all federal agencies’ Internet usage for signs of cyber-attack.
… But all citizens should be very concerned about spillover in domestic Internet use for commercial industry and individual citizens alike.
Allowing (or requiring) the government to censor or control communications is a tool of social oppression, opines Johna Johnson in Network World.
British government security organizations recently required their nation-wide but unconnected CCTV coverage to be upgraded for federal accessibility, writes The Register. Combined with reliable automatic face recognition, such a system would allow the location and tracking of individuals en masse.
In other news, an NRO spy satellite will come crashing down in the next few weeks, somewhere over Earth, but experts are Not Panicking, says the NY Times. “It’s really just a big thing falling on the ground that we want to make sure we’re prepared for,” said Gen. Gene Renuart, chief of the United States Northern Command.
In a man bites dog story, Boeing’s Wideband Global (WGS) SATCOM, is still working. Launched Oct. 10, 2007, Boeing announced their handover to the U.S. Air Force, this week. The satellite will be monitored and controlled by the Air Force’s 3rd Space Operations Squadron at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo.
WGS-1 is the U.S. Department of Defense’s highest capacity communications satellite. The second and third WGS Block I satellites are scheduled for launch in 2008. Unlike programs like AEHF or T-SAT, WGS offers wideband communications that are “unprotected” against jamming and nuclear effects.
Delayed by almost two years, the unit cost on the Advanced Extremely High Frequency Satellites (AEHF) increased by more than 50%,” reported the GAO.
The TSAT program may cost $14-25 billion through 2016, which includes the satellites, the ground operations system, the satellite operations center and the cost of operations and maintenance.