NSA taps vendors for encryption

Tuesday, 5 November 2002, 9:42 AM EST

A Defense Department analyst at the Pentagon is working on a top-secret case and needs to quickly exchange a large amount of information with a colleague in the intelligence community on the other side of the country. But the only tools available that are fast enough to accommodate the data transfer are commercial IP-based networks.

Today, analysts have reached an impasse. But the National Security Agency is working to break that roadblock.

NSA recently selected three vendor teams to compete to develop Gigabit Ethernet encryptors (GigEE) to support the secure exchange of top-secret information via commercial IP-based, wide-area networks at speeds of at least 1 gigabit/sec — the equivalent of 48,000 typewritten pages per second.

ViaSat Inc., L-3 Communications and General Dynamics C4 Systems each recently received 30-month, $10 million development contracts, and all are competing for future production awards, said an NSA spokesperson.

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