D.C. NOTES

While Republicans and Democrats argue about encryption policy, the Pentagon is getting hacked up.

The General Accounting Office says up to one-quarter of a million attempts possibly were made last year to infiltrate Defense Department computer networks and, of that total, 65 percent (162,500) succeeded.

Sam Nunn (D-Ga.), ranking minority member of the Senate Governmental Affairs subcommittee on investigations, lamented, “Is the bad actor a 16-year old, a foreign agent, an anarchist or a combination thereof? How do you ascertain the nature of a threat if you don’t know the motive of your adversary?”

Meanwhile, Conrad Burns (R-Mont.), a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, blasted the Clinton administration’s latest encryption policy try, dubbed “Clipper III.” The new White House initiative would loosen and potentially lift export controls on encryption technology, but still require firms and individuals to hand over code keys to a government-approved third party.

“It’s three strikes and you’re out at the old ball game, and I would say that the third version of the administration’s Clipper chip proposal is a swing and a miss.”

*…*Talk about whiffing. Carol Browner, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, sent the wireless industry away empty last week. Tom Wheeler, president of the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association, and Eleanor Adair, a physiologist at the John B. Pierce Laboratory Inc. at Yale University reportedly were taken aback when Brown dug in and stood firm in support of National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurement RF radiation guidelines over IEEE/ANSI standards. Another meeting is in the works.

The Federal Communications Commission is believed to be considering a hybrid NCRP/IEEE-ANSI guideline, after originally proposing to adopt the entire 1992 IEEE-ANSI standard. The agency must rule by early August.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon-a big spectrum user and the top RF bioeffects research entity in the United States-is angry about being snubbed in interagency discussions on RF standards involving EPA, the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, the Food and Drug Administration and others.

DOD plans to file ex parte comments with the FCC shortly to protest any major shift from the initial RF radiation exposure initiative.

… Say what? Is Solomon Trujillo, whose U S West firm is blamed by BDPCS (winner of 17 C-block auction licenses) for BDPCS’ default, the same guy FCC Chairman Reed Hundt picked to chair the Telecommunications Development Fund on an interim basis?

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