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Safeguarding the national security: Can the military and other Government functions be confident that the newly fragmented telecommunications system will respond to crises?

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1 Author(s)
Horgan, J. ; IEEE Spectrum, New York, NY, USA

The way in which the relationship between the US government and the telecommunications industry has changed since the breakup of the Bell System is discussed. The large number of suppliers may present a security problem because the communications in the Department of Defense will continue to depend upon public networks. It is noted that even before divestiture, the FCCs Second Computer Inquiry decision prevented the DoD's primary contractor, AT&T, from packaging, selling, and servicing a complete systems of equipment and transmission service from one end of a circuit to the other. The factors that make it difficult for the DOD or any other Government agency to get single-management, end-to-end service for its routine, day-to-day communications are discussed. The work being done by a special; body set up within Bellcore and by the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee and the national Coordinating Center to deal with these problems is discussed.

Published in:

Spectrum, IEEE  (Volume:22 ,  Issue: 11 )