DOD aiming for PKI deadline

DOD aiming for PKI deadline

By Dipka Bhambhani

GCN Staff

MARCH 14—The Defense Department faces significant hurdles in meeting an October 2003 deadline for implementing a public-key infrastructure, but organizations expecting to deal with DOD should count on it being in place, officials said Tuesday.

'Businesses that want to work with the government will have to play by the government's rules,' said Chris Yukins, an attorney for Holland & Knight LLP in Falls Church, Va., and a member of the Federal Electronic Commerce Coalition.

Defense officials and members of FECC, a group working on the legal and technological elements of the PKI project, spoke at the Web-Enabled Government Conference Tuesday in Vienna, Va. They acknowledged the problems faced by the project, including incompatible systems among agencies, third-party interference, the possibilities for manipulating data and the absence, so far, of established punishments for PKI violations.

'Any system can be compromised if it's not properly implemented,' said Shauna Russell of DOD's Office of the General Counsel. 'There are many, many issues still to be addressed.'

The FECC, composed of attorneys and technology experts from the United States and other countries, including Japan, Germany and Switzerland, is recruiting volunteers to help it create legal and technological guidelines for PKI.

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