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Top Secret America's weekly roundup

Here are a few tidbits we came across this week that piqued our interest.

* Intelligent Software Solutions of Colorado Springs, Colo. won a $25 million task order from the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory to do software work. The 12-month deal is part of a $500 million contract that Intelligent Software won last year. The company said in a press release that the program involves "the use of ISS' WebTAS-TK, or Web Enabled Temporal Analysis System Tool Kit," which allows people to "process, analyze, and visualize large amounts of intelligence data from many disparate sources, in multiple form factors."

* Another Top Secret America company, ArcSight of Menlo Park, Calif., is best known for having In-Q-Tel, the Central Intelligence Agency's venture-capital arm, as an investor. According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, ArcSight has a $1.5 billion buyout offer from Hewlett Packard. In-Q-Tel is staffed and funded by the CIA and provides companies with "intelligence and counter-intelligence expertise and a 'test-bed' for new products," the Journal said.

What makes ArcSight attractive to the CIA? The company builds software that checks computer networks for attacks from hackers. ArcSight has roughly 1,000 employees and went public in 2008. The WSJ said it is unknown how much the CIA (and thereby the taxpayers) earned on the investment.

* More construction is underway to attract contractors who want to be near the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security. According to CoStar, a commercial real estate research firm, developer Jackson-Shaw plans to start construction in September on Andrews Federal Campus, an 80-acre business park at Suitland Parkway and the Capital Beltway just southeast of the District.

There's other real estate news -- Exxon Mobile's 118-acre campus in Fairfax could become home for the Defense Intelligence Agency. The spy agency is looking for roughly 523,000 square feet in Northern Virginia to consolidate its operations, according to a recent story in the Post's Capital Business.

* Electronic jammers are a big deal when it comes to trying to prevent radio-controlled IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) from going off, and making them has become big business for contractors. ITT of McLean recently won a $455 million Pentagon contract to make up to 5,000 electronic jammers, also known as Joint Counter Radio-Controlled Improvised Explosive Device Electronic Warfare (JCREW).

* Check out SpyTalk's Jeff Stein and his take on Blackwater and its multiple layers.

* Walking through the Pentagon this week, I came across a small trade show featuring tips on how to protect against terrorists and defend the country's national security. On the booth tables, were pamphlets, crossword and sudoku puzzles - all with security themes - that caught my eye.

One pamphlet read, Using your BlackBerry Securely. It raised the question - is it friend or foe? When it comes to classified materials, "a phone is the enemy's cheapest agent," it reminded intelligence workers. And among its Top 10 list of "Tenets of Secure BlackBerry Usage:" Number one, Never store or process classified information on a BlackBerry device.

Another handout was about "Your role in Helping to Prevent Espionage." It describes the different characteristics of a spy. Most spies are narcissistic. .. The psychopath, more aggressive than the narcissist, is impulsive, adventurous, and deceitful. And it reminds readers: Spies do get caught, but often after much damage has already been done.

One of my personal favorites among the handouts is a little red and yellow sign that you can sit on your desk. It reads: "Area Secure. Do Not Leave Classified Materials in This Area."

And here's a word of the day for readers. The crossword clue: a technique of gathering intelligence through what appears to be normal, even mundane, social or professional contact.

Answer: Elicitation.

Have tidbits, news, cool technology? Share them with Dana at (Please put - tidbits in the subject line.)

By Dana Hedgpeth  | September 17, 2010; 11:07 AM ET
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Love the little "AREA SECURE" sign. That's not a joke, even if it's being portrayed as one. Wouldn't it suck if a co-worker left classified documents on YOUR desk and then went home for the night? People who work day-in, day-out in a secure workplace for years, get desensitized to the fact that classified info has to be protected at all times. That's why we undergo mandatory yearly security briefings - as a reminder to keep info safe and secure.

Posted by: DannyT45 | September 17, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

As a Veteran for Peace, prior USAF honorably discharged disabled, I receive information from ex-officers that are in constant contact with covert operatives. Last year or early this year he gave us intel that was in reference to covert US operatives working with the most horrid terrorists listed, they are called Jundallah. We worked with them to murder Iranian's. Why? Iranian's are Shi'a, they ( Jundallah and our covert operatives ) murdered many Iranian's of course the Sunni in Iraq were blamed which caused infighting between the minority Sunni and Shi'a in Iraq and friction, well more friction, between Iraq and Iran. Since Saddam was Sunni, he lorded the Sunni over the Shi'a and to this day it's been a constant homicide bomber's dream in Iraq, thanks to the USA aiding the most heinouus terrorist group known today. I took my info and posted it on my Constitutional Blog. About 4 months later on MSNBC I hear a report about all of these goings on so if you even begin to think that thos 50K men and women we left in Iraq aren't combat troops, you better read WaPo or the NYT or Reuters[best bet] no offense, by the hour because we are dying in Afghanistan and Iraq i record numbers. I hate the fact that we, thanks to 43 and cheney et al, illegally invaded the Sovereign Nation of Iraq sans a Declaration Of War from Congress re: Article.I.Section.8.cls, 9-16 better known as the "War Powers Act" by the use of lies like WMD's, Saddam was responsible for taking down the Towers and so forth, but we are there and we will be there forever, you know we"ll establish a permanant base like Incerlik in Turkey, so those 50,000 men and women must be brought home now then we say, "WE HAVE ENDED OUR COMBAT MISSION IN IRAQ". Until then check and see how many troops are deployed daily to Iraq not just the civil and tribal war we are in over in the endless war in Afghanistan.
Go to YouTube search for, CaseyJPorter, who has been stop-lossed and gets video out at least weekly of all of these gd contactors and what's happening to our men and women, search for IVAW or Iraq Veterans Against War to hear first hand truth, and VFP or us Veterans for Peace.
It's not going to stop they are continuously hiring contractors, for Gods' sake Blackwater is still over there even after being convicted of murdering 17 civilian's, more like 1700, just good ol' Eric Prince changed the name to XE, pronounced 'She'.
DannyT45 is more than correct, "AREA SECURE", lol, go to and see just how insecure and screwed we are. Thanks 43 and Obama for not putting that Executive over reach genie back into that bottle and corking it tightly.

Posted by: WarCriminals | September 20, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

"I receive information from ex-officers that are in constant contact with covert operatives."

LOL. Just LOL. If the whole Top Secret America thing has done anything, it has brought the tin-foil hats out of hiding...

P.S., they can see you...

Posted by: jesusHhong | September 21, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

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