DOD on cusp of issuing wireless policy

The Defense Department CIO is expected to sign a departmentwide wireless policy any day.

Priscilla Guthrie, deputy CIO, said the holdup in releasing the policy has do with getting approval by all necessary Defense officials for the language in the draft version.

'The good news is I believe you'll find the policy is much more useful than the draft that was released last year,' said Guthrie Friday at the TeleStrategies Federal Networks 2004 conference. 'The bad news is that the policy has spent more than six months in the coordination cycle."

The policy will set guidelines for using wireless devices across the department, revising an earlier Pentagon wireless policy set in late 2002. Most Defense officials say the policy will be more comprehensive than the Pentagon policy, which strictly limited wireless use.

The Washington Headquarters Service asked for an additional round of approvals, said Air Force Lt. Col. Ken McClellan, Pentagon spokesman for command, control, communications and intelligence systems.

'Several of the signatories had left the department during the last round, and there are a few issues still being negotiated and adjudicated,' McClellan said.

The Pentagon Area Common IT Wireless Security Policy, issued in October 2002, prohibits Pentagon employees from connecting a wireless device to a classified network or computer. The policy also bans synchronizing a wireless device with IT devices that have not been approved by the Pentagon.

The policy also prohibits using wireless devices:

  • As the primary means of communication for critical operations

  • As part of any mission-critical system

  • For downloading software.

  • The Pentagon policy allows the use of wireless devices'such as cellular telephones and personal digital assistants'for unclassified data and sensitive but unclassified data, if the wireless system has been approved for use.


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