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The budget, TEMPEST, and common sense.

Pick up any newspaper or magazine and the chances are good that you will quickly be able to find an article about the defense budget. Too large? Too small? The story line will change depending on the perspective of the writer or newsmaker, but all will agree that unnecessary spending should be eliminated. What is necessary then becomes the source of lively debate.

A common dictionary definition of necessary is something that cannot be dispensed with, is essential, or that must be done. Resolving the issue then depends on understanding why something is necessary or why it's not.

Within the security community, the question of when, where, and how to spend the usually few and precious dollars we have to protect our nation's or company's valuable assets is an old and familiar one. Most professionals agree that an analysis of the threat posed to those valuables is the essential first step in resource allocation.

While threat analysis is an ongoing process, we must stop from time to time and make resource allocation decisions based on our vulnerability and risk assessments. Do we really need to spend money protecting against one threat or another, and why?

In the Department of Defense (DoD), Transient Electromagnetic Pulse Emanations Standard (TEMPEST) requirements levied on DoD contracts operating in the continental United States (CONUS) have been both a problem and a source of budgetary controversy for several years. With the publication of national policy document NTISSI 7000 in October 1988, it was hoped that the TEMPEST policy changes discussed in the document would eliminate the controversy and resolve the problems in CONUS. Not so, and not suprisingly.

NTISSI was a national-level policy document. It had no immediate, regulatory impact on DoD component program managers and contracting officers. But it was the essential first step in the process.

The next step toward solving the problem was the publication of DoD Directive C-5200.19, "Control of Compromising Emanations (U)," on February 23, 1990. This document applied the NTISSI policy to the DoD environement and mandated component implementation.

Again, the directive did not have an instant regulatory impact on components' operating-level officials, who follow guidance contained in their regulations or operating instructions. However, progress had been made.

Now the good news. The DoD components are implementing the DoD directive and issuing specific guidance for TEMPEST considerations in their regulations and in the instructions used by the program managers and contracting officers. Soon this should eliminate unnecessary and wasteful TEMPEST requirements for DoD contractors in situations where the threat does not warrant these costly countermeasures.

In the interim, contractors should make sure that their customers' contracting officers are aware of DoD Directive C-5200.19. Copies can be obtained through their component publication channels and should be reviewed prior to imposing any contractual TEMPEST requirements. This will help ensure that any such requirements comply with DoD TEMPEST policy and, thereby, will prevent unnecessary expenditures.

John F. Donnelly is director of the Defense Investigative Service.
COPYRIGHT 1991 American Society for Industrial Security
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Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Department of Defense requirements for contractors; defense budget; Transient Electromagnetic Pulse Emanations Standard
Author:Donnelly, John F.
Publication:Security Management
Date:May 1, 1991
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