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Pentagon to test unclassified alternative to Talon

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David Morgan
Wednesday, Aug 6, 2008

The Pentagon, which closed its Talon intelligence database nearly a year ago amid concerns about domestic spying, will soon begin testing an unclassified alternative for tracking possible threats to U.S. military bases, officials said on Tuesday.

The system, an FBI-operated program called eGuardian, would for the first time sever the Defense Department’s collection of data on suspicious activity from U.S. intelligence operations by placing the information in an unclassified database for law enforcement agencies, officials said.

Pentagon officials hope an unclassified system run by the FBI would help insulate the job of gathering information about potential threats from public concerns about domestic espionage that surrounded Talon for years.

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Air Force Lt. Col. Almarah Belk, a Pentagon spokeswoman, said a Pentagon panel of experts that spent a year examining 62 different systems formally recommended eGuardian to senior defense officials on July 29.

The Defense Department will begin testing eGuardian as early as this month at sites in Florida and Virginia and the system could be formally adopted in December if the tests go well, she said.

“This is the most promising solution at this point,” Belk told Reuters.

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This article was posted: Wednesday, August 6, 2008 at 4:42 am

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