Defense Department and intelligence community officials have been talking about open source software as the next great thing for government technology programs for years. Why all the love? Speaking at a recent industry gathering, government officials described what they like about the software: it’s affordable, flexible, and can be quickly modified by developers because they don’t have to pay the licensing fees associated with commercial software.
The government began using open source software (OSS) in the late 1990s, the Pentagon’s associate director for information enterprise strategy and policy, Dan Risache said at the recent Red Hat Government Symposium. In the last few years, more agencies have used it as they discovered its advantages. He sees this as a major step in the government transforming itself into a leaner, more agile entity — at least where IT is concerned. Keep reading →
ORLANDO: Gen. Keith Alexander, head of the National Security Agency and Cyber Command, told a standing-room-only crowd at the annual Geoint intelligence conference last year that the NSA and its sister intelligence agencies could save one third or more on their information technology costs by moving to the so-called cloud.
Given that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said last year that the intelligence budget cuts over the next decade would be in the “double digits” — our best information is that the cuts are around $25 bilion over a decade — the pressure is on for Alexander to deliver. Keep reading →
ORLANDO: (Story Delayed Due to Software Problems) A study by the intelligence community raised industrial base “concerns” about the merger between commercial spy satellite companies GeoEye and DigitalGlobe but found no showstoppers.
That’s the word from Letitia Long, director of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA). I asked Long today if industrial base issues had been considered by the government as it mulls the merger of America’s only two companies that make and operate spy eyes in the sky. She said Michael Vickers, the Pentagon’s undersecretary for intelligence, and Jim Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, had ordered a study. It raised “concerns” – but no showstoppers – about some of the subcontractors who serve the two companies. Several of them are single-source companies, meaning they are the only ones who provide certain services, software or parts. Keep reading →
ORLANDO: The terrorists who attacked the Benghazi consulate, killing US Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and four others, apparently maintained web, cell and radio silence before they acted, giving the US no hint an attack was imminent.
“If people do not emit or discuss their behavior, it’s hard to find out what they are going to do,” Director of National Intelligence Jim Clapper said at the huge annual conference of intelligence professionals called Geoint. The U.S., he made clear, did not have tactical warning of the attacks. He noted that there were anti-American protests in 54 countries when the attacks occurred, clearly implying the intelligence community had its hands full that day. Keep reading →
At last year’s Geoint conference, Director of National Intelligence Jim Clapper made it clear that a significant amount of the savings needed by the intelligence community over the next five years would come from cutting the budget to buy commercial space imagery. Despite opposition within the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency and quiet panic on the part of the two U.S. companies that provide that imagery — GeoEye and DigitalGlobe — Clapper was unrelenting. Quietly, the National Reconnaissance Office expressed satisfaction.
The NRO appeared to have, finally, won the argument over whether the U.S. should buy “exquisite” capabilities — very expensive spy satellites capable of capturing extraordinarily detailed images from space. In this op-ed, Robbin Laird, a member of the Breaking Defense Board of Contributors, argues the Obama administration has made a policy of abandoning public-private partnerships like the ones with GeoEye and DigitalGlobe at the cost of the taxpayer and the soldier in the field. (Watch us this week for more coverage of commercial space during Geoint 2012.) The Editor. Keep reading →
Only one company is likely to survive the coming budget intelligence community budget cuts to commercial imagery purchases. Both GeoEye and DigitalGlobe appear to believe they will be the victor, opening the door on what could become a damaging contest for control of the U.S. commercial imagery market.
DigitalGlobe, a company that says nothing publicly as much as possible, offered a bold rejection of GeoEye’s offer on Sunday. Their board of directors looked at GeoEye’s bid and “unanimously” rejected it. The company said “it substantially undervalues the Company in relation to DigitalGlobe’s standalone business and financial prospects” and “does not adequately recognize DigitalGlobe’s superior track record of financial and operating performance as well as its constellation’s greater capabilities.” Keep reading →
There’s lots of happy-happy hype about “the cloud.” If you press the experts, though, they’ll admit that the savings from adopting cloud computing will come in the long run, not the near term, and only after a lot of hard work – including, when it comes to government, some all-out turf wars. Keep reading →
WASHINGTON: Jim Clapper, the first Director of National Intelligence to order budget cuts across the intelligence community, may be leaving his post this fall.
Or, then again, he may not. At this stage, all is rumor. So far, we’ve got three people with good intelligence connections saying Clapper is likely on the way out. We’ve got one former senior intelligence saying it is not likely. Keep reading →
CORRECTED: We Inflated The Value of Digital Globe’s Most Recent Government Contract
San Antonio: You can smell the fear and worry here at the annual Geoint conference. The budget cuts that Director of National Intelligence Jim Clapper outlined yesterday may be as deep as $40 billion over the next 10 years, sources here say. The consensus number is closer to $25 billion, but more than three sources cited $40 billion. Keep reading →
Washington: They spend most of their time analyzing maps for buried bombs in Afghanistan and Iraq or looking at what turned out to Osama bin Laden’s last residence, but intelligence analysts sometimes help out on the home front as well.
As Hurricane Irene sends the East Coast scrambling to find shelter, clear out its drains and to endlessly watch the Weather Channel, the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency has readied special teams and vehicles called DMIGS to plan for and assist after the storm rolls north. Keep reading →