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Bob Brewin

Editor at Large

Bob Brewin joined Government Executive in April 2007, bringing with him more than 20 years of experience as a journalist focusing on defense issues and technology. Bob covers the world of defense and information technology for Nextgov, and is the author of the “What’s Brewin” blog.

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Surveillance tower raises suspicion in border town

July 19, 2007 ARIVACA, ARIZ. -- Residents of this small town held a meeting Wednesday with lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union to discuss whether they can legally force the Homeland Security Department to remove a high-tech tower that is part of a virtual fence to slow the flow of illegal immigrants...

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Pentagon urged not to use ability to degrade GPS signals

July 17, 2007 A newly formed multiagency advisory board argues that the Defense Department should never again intentionally degrade the performance of the Global Positioning System. At its first meeting held in March, the National Space-Based Positioning Navigation and Timing (PNT) Advisory Board decided that, although the Air Force has the ability to...

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Pentagon still burdened with multiple back-office systems

July 13, 2007 Despite years trying to eliminate redundant back-office systems, the Defense Department still suffers from a proliferation of financial and other business information systems that do not provide adequate data on Defense business, top Pentagon officials said this week. At the Army Information Technology Conference sponsored by the Northern Virginia Chapter...

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What's Brewin': Inside the world of defense information technology

July 13, 2007 Army HQ Just Loves iTunes That's what Gary Winkler, director of governance, acquisition and Chief Knowledge Office in the Army Chief Information Officer shop discovered earlier this year when he launched an Automated Discovery Tool to search for applications residing on the network serving the Department of the Army Headquarters...

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Spread of RFID in Defense slower than expected

July 11, 2007 The Defense Department's requirement that suppliers use radio frequency identification technology may be encountering resistance within the department, indicating that the effort may need time for the technology to mature. Demand throughout Defense for RFID readers and tags from a contract known as Army Product Manager Joint-Automatic Identification Technology (PM...

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High-tech border network could fall prey to cyberattacks

July 6, 2007 The Homeland Security Department's planned wireless network of high-tech towers to watch for illegal immigrants crossing the border from Mexico into the United States is vulnerable to cyberattacks that could shut the system down, according to security experts. The Secure Border Initiative Network (SBInet) surveillance system, a network of 1,800...

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What's Brewin': Inside the world of defense information technology

July 6, 2007 Editor's Note: What's Brewin' is a new column written by Government Executive Editor-at-Large Bob Brewin. Every week, What's Brewin' will bring you an insider's look at the hot topics and tidbits of conversation that make up the IT culture inside the Pentagon, at military bases around the world and inside...

DARPA Wants Rocket-Powered Earth Eyeball

July 3, 2007 The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency wants industry help in developing a rocket that can deliver an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) packed with intelligence and surveillance instruments to any spot on the globe â€" within one hour. DARPA said its “Rapid Eye” program needs technologies that will allow the military...

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Defense official responds to critics of decision to ban popular Web sites

July 2, 2007 Caught in a media hailstorm after blocking access to MySpace, YouTube and other sites on Defense Department networks, Air Force Lt. Gen. Charles Croom, director of the Joint Task Force-Global Network Operations and the Defense Information Systems Agency, says his reason is simple: to preserve bandwidth needed for mission-critical operations....

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Mad About MySpace

July 1, 2007 Defense's decision to block popular Web sites pits online buddies against bandwidth. Caught in a media hailstorm after blocking access to MySpace, YouTube and other sites on Defense Department networks, Air Force Lt. Gen. Charles Croom, director of the Joint Task Force-Global Network Operations and the Defense Information Systems Agency,...