The U.S. Army will open its second purchase period this year for small computers, requiring that all systems have specialized hardware designed to add strong data security to the system.
Known as the Trusted Computing Platform, the hardware specification uses encryption and specialized memory to secure a computer's data, allowing only the application that created a file to access that data and allowing hard drive data to be locked to a specific computer, for example. However, critics worry that, without adequate policy guidelines, the technology could be used by third parties to undermine consumers' rights to their own data.
The U.S. Army purchases its computers twice a year during consolidated buys to save money. In the first round earlier this year, the military service specified that the systems must have version 1.2 of the Trusted Platform Module (TPM), the hardware component of the specification. The Army is expected to release additional technical guidelines requiring the TPM, according to Federal Computer Week.
About 20 million computers, most of them laptops, shipped with the Trusted Platform Module in 2005, according to the Trusted Computing Group.
Posted by: Robert Lemos