Deals, tidbits of the week in Top Secret America
Here are a few deals, happenings and solicitations for contract work in Top Secret America that caught our eye.
*CACI of Arlington won part of a five-year contract that could be worth as much as $16.4 billion from the U.S. Army Communications and Electronics Command (CECOM).
CACI, a major player in Top Secret America, announced it won one of 17 prime contracts to support the Army's "Rapid Response - Third Generation (R2-3G) program." As part of the contract, CACI will make, test and analyze a "range of equipment and anti-terrorism technology," according to a press release.
*DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) has a new project called CINDER, short for Cyber Insider Threat. As part of the program, the agency is looking for researchers to help it build software that finds "patterns of malign behavior, distinct and quietly detectable from the normal Defense Department information user, to expose hidden operations within networks and systems," according to an article at Wired.com.
DARPA hired Peiter "Mudge" Zatko, who Wired says is one of the hackers of Boston's L0pht collective, to serve as CINDER's program manager. He has worked at DARPA since February and serves as a program manager for cybersecurity. He plans to hold conferences in September -- one in Arlington and another in San Francisco -- with potential researchers for CINDER.
CINDER's goal is to "greatly increase the accuracy, rate and speed of detection that impede the ability of adversaries to operate within government and military interest networks," according to a pre-solicitation announcement of the contract.
*To follow up on his campaign to cut waste and inefficiency from the Defense Department, Secretary Robert M. Gates has appointed a task force, headed by his chief of staff, Robert Rangel, to help out.
In an Aug. 9 briefing, Gates said he has "directed a zero-based review of the department's intelligence missions, organizations, relationships and contracts." The goal, he said, is to end needless duplication. "We need to create a system of fewer, flatter, and more agile and responsive structures," he said.
As for what to cut, the Pentagon is soliciting ideas from those "outside normal, official channels," Gates said in his briefing. Gates and the task force are talking to experts at think tanks, according to Pentagon officials. They are also asking for ideas from military and civilian personnel. So far 10,013 ideas have been submitted, according to a Defense Department Web site. Of those, 6,721 were from the Air Force; 1,318 from the Army; 811 from the Navy; 870 from Pentagon agencies; and 293 from the Marine Corps.
If you work for the Defense Department, submit your suggestions at www.defense.gov/invest. Ideas are being accepted until Sept. 24.
The Pentagon wouldn't release details of the ideas it has received, but says it will pick 25 winners in October. There are cash prizes ranging from $500 to $1,000.
The reviews of what to cut are due in November. The cutbacks will affect the fiscal 2012 budget request.
*Finally, our colleague Jeff Stein of Spy Talk has had an interesting week of blog postings. In one, he explains that even though American officials are at odds over U.S. policy toward Sudan, the CIA is continuing work there as it "trains and equips Sudan's intelligence service in the name of fighting terrorism."
In another post, he tells about a lengthy case of a Chinese intelligence agent who defected to the United States in 2004 but now may be deported back to China, where he could "well be executed on charges of treason."
Do you know of work, contract awards, gee whiz technology or people doing interesting work in Top Secret America? Please send us your ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
September 3, 2010; 7:18 AM ET
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