DARPA Wants Troops to Access Multiple Security Classifications From One Device


New software could help troops share data in a secure way.

The Pentagon wants technology that could let troops share data securely with each other, wherever they are, from whatever device they're using.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has started a new program for building a way to process several levels of security classifications on a single device.

Today, sharing classified information would need an end-to-end connection to a secure server already approved for a specific security level; if the network is overloaded or the digital chain is broken, the message is lost, according to DARPA. Existing infrastructure for that kind of communication, spanning multiple classification levels, isn't easily deployed in the field.

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With its new program, DARPA hopes to create a system that allows for the secure exchange of information at varying classification levels, using unsecured commercial networks including Wi-Fi and cellular, through a mix of devices such as tactical radios, laptops and handheld devices.

"Because they are commonly available, these technologies make rapid and widespread deployment possible and thereby facilitate greater information exchange among U.S. and coalition forces," says a proposer's day announcement for the Secure Handhelds on Assured Resilient networks at the tactical Edge program, or SHARE.

The system would be designed to work in remote regions.

Specifically, SHARE is looking for technology and policies for security management on devices; systems that can support networks in "challenging environments," and a software solution that "rapidly configures security across the network."

It's also looking for experts in handheld device security, networking applications, and "future internet architectures," among other fields.

DARPA is hosting the SHARE proposer's day Jan. 31.