DOD double-times smart-card use

DOD double-times smart-card use

The Air Force has begun using smart cards to control entry at more than 100 Air Force bases worldwide and access to 50,000 computers.

Under a task order announced today, Electronic Data Systems Corp. will supply middleware and smart-card readers for the cards through the Defense Department's Common Access Card program. The Air Force could opt to extend the order to support additional users, EDS officials said.

'These smart-card readers and middleware will certainly enhance DOD security and could play a significant role in the future of national identification cards,' said Al Edmonds, president of U.S. government solutions for EDS.

By the end of 2003, DOD intends to issue 4 million smart cards to users throughout the service branches, including the family members of enlisted men and women [see story at www.gcn.com/21_10/dod/18580-1.html].

Each card will carry a photograph, as well as a digital certificate and encryption keys for use with Defense's public-key infrastructure.

Last November, EDS began delivering cards at DOD sites worldwide. To date, EDS has issued 100,000 cards.

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