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[ISN] Air Force Special Operations cancels iPad buy



http://www.nextgov.com/nextgov/ng_20120221_7036.php

By Bob Brewin
Nextgov
02/21/2012

The Air Force Special Operations Command canceled its planned acquisition of Apple iPad tablet computers last week, two days after receiving a query from Nextgov about the inclusion of Russian-developed security and documents reader software specified in procurement documents.

The command did not provide any explanation for the move in its notice on the Federal Business Opportunities website. Officials originally planned to acquire 2,861 iPad2 tablet computers to serve as electronic flight bags, storing digital versions of paper charts and technical manuals. The procurement -- kicked off in January -- specified the use of GoodReader software developed in Russia to meet mission security requirements.

Michael McCarthy, director of the Army's smartphone project, Connecting Soldiers to Digital Applications, based in Fort Bliss, Texas, told Nextgov last week he would not use software developed in Russia because he would not want to expose end users to potential risk.

Bernie Skoch, a defense industry consultant and a retired Air Force brigadier general with extensive security experience and a student pilot, said with mission-critical applications, every line of source code must be examined to ensure it does not contain malicious code. It does not take much imagination "to conjure the catastrophic consequences" that could result from malicious code in an electronic flight bag, he said.

[...]


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