Electronic Weapons: June 10, 2003


The Department of Defense is developing a new family of radios that will finally make it easy for people from the different services to communicate with each other. The JTRS (Joint Tactical Radio System) project is trying to get the new radios tested, produced and into the hands of the troops by 2007. Field testing begins next year. A major obstacle was recently overcome when it was decided to buy  cryptographic software from the Harris Corporation. The Harris Sierra II crypto software was certified last year by the NSA (National Security Agency) and is rated as suitable for voice communications up to the Top Secret level and data transmissions up to the Secret level. All cryptographic is vulnerable to enemy efforts to decrypt it and find out what information we were actually sending. NSA examines cryptographic products offered for government use and rates how resistant they are to being cracked. Voice and data crypto work differently, because the information is so different, thus the different levels of security for the same crypto system used on voice and data (text or visual) transmissions. 


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