Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Government Encryption Security IT Your Rights Online

Post-9/11 DOJ Tech Project Dying After 10 Years? 115

gManZboy writes "A secure, interoperable radio network that the Department of Justice has been working on for more than a decade and that has cost the agency $356 million may be headed for failure, according to a new report by the agency's inspector general. Called for in the wake of 9/11, the Integrated Wireless Network (IWS) project has already been repeatedly scaled back. Today, the Department of Justice continues to rely on several separate land mobile radio systems, some of which are unreliable, obsolete, and fail to interoperate with one another. Agents often have to swap radios, share channels, or refer to a book of radio frequencies and manually switch between those frequencies to stay online. Radios remain insecure, as much of the current equipment fails to meet encryption requirements. Much of the agency's equipment is more than 15 years old and is no longer even supported by the manufacturer."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Post-9/11 DOJ Tech Project Dying After 10 Years?

Comments Filter:
  • Is it sad (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ticker47 ( 954580 ) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @08:57PM (#38756432)
    that the government spending $356 million on a failed project doesn't sound like that much money anymore?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 19, 2012 @09:10PM (#38756576)

    Carlin - The Real Owners Of America

    "The real owners are the big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions. Forget the politicians, they're an irrelevancy. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don't. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They've long since bought and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the statehouses, the city halls. They've got the judges in their back pockets. And they own all the big media companies, so that they control just about all of the news and information you hear. They've got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying  lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want; they want more for themselves and less for everybody else."

    "But I'll tell you what they don't want. They don't want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don't want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They're not interested in that. That doesn't help them. That's against their interests. They don't want people who are smart enough to sit around the kitchen table and figure out how badly they're getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fucking years ago.

    "You know what they want? Obedient workers  people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork but just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, reduced benefits, the end of overtime and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it. And, now, they're coming for your Social Security. They want your fucking retirement money. They want it back, so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They'll get it. They'll get it all, sooner or later, because they own this fucking place. It's a big club, and you ain't in it. You and I are not in the big club."

    "This country is finished."

    suck the SOPA soap but don't drop it!
    have you seen the SOPA commercials where they depict an American flag falling apart? Clever brainwashing bitches!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 19, 2012 @10:42PM (#38757318)

    Because Motorola, effectively the only supplier of P25 equipment in North America and the largest TETRA supplier worldwide has no competition for these installations. It also hold numerous patents for TETRA, and has licensed to other suppliers for all areas other than North America. The Key patents are now expired and are expiring so you will see TETRA in North America

  • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @01:13AM (#38758146) Homepage Journal

    Back then I worked for a small company that was involved with public health technology consulting, and of course there was the anthrax scare shortly after 9/11. Oh, yes, and there was West Nile Virus. The legislative response to those things was a bonanza for big-time contractors and small-time ones willing to sell their soul. There were huge money bombs being set off all over the place.

    Forget bureaucratic empire building -- there wasn't time for that. The money was flying out the door faster than anyone could possibly control. Often it was spent on total vaporware projects; you didn't have to have a product or experience to grab a pile of dough, as long as you had a lobbyist with legislative connections.

    The lobbying thing wasn't new, of course, but I don't think it was so open and brazen before that. I saw a lot of post 9/11 projects, but I can't think of *one* of them that had any value at all. Now I know a lot of state and federal bureaucrats in public health, and they're honest people who believe in the mission and do valuable, practical work. But *they* didn't get any money bombs dropped on them (possibly they'd have inconveniently independent ideas about what to do with it). For example the West Nile money was largely spent through the CDC's Atlanta HQ, even though Ft. Collins does all the mosquito borne disease stuff.

    On the local level the money didn't go to state agencies that had significant capabilities to put it to use in fieldwork; in fact they got practically none of the money so far as I could see. The money went to state agencies that didn't know how to spend the money, and they couldn't learn because they had to spend the money *immediately* or lose it. The vendors with connections in Atlanta were standing by to take the money off their hands.

    A cynical person would look at a situation like that and conclude the system was rigged to maximize the money going to vendors by preventing its application to useful things.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 20, 2012 @01:54AM (#38758284)

    Given that P25 is my day job, I have some comments. Many base stations do P25 by running a software stack from a company called "Etherstack", not Motorola. I've got a feeling that Motorola might even use Etherstack. The company I work for (not Etherstack) has it's own P25 stack, written internally from scratch. It's in the base stations, which we OEM for some of the names you mentioned.

    Also, speaking for our own gear, the P25 infrastructure uses about the same power as the old FM gear (my company does both). The Base station uses about 5W when receiving. On transmit, power dissipation is dominated by the power amplifier, which is identical to the PA used by FM gear.

    The majors will always erect barriers to entry, such as tweaking protocols to minimise interoperability. As a smaller player, part of our job is to reverse engineer and counter such moves.

In less than a century, computers will be making substantial progress on ... the overriding problem of war and peace. -- James Slagle