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  •  This provides for control of surface transportation and better utilization of roads and networks. NextTraffic
  •  The statement quoted Mr Robert Dickerman, the Chief Executive Officer of EEDC, as expressing hope that the use of meters would boost revenue collection and reduce lost of energy.
  •  Speed Identity has supplied 35 biometric data capture stations and 200 fingerprint readers to Moldova as a result of an EU-supervised tender aiming to increase security and quality of the country’s passports.

    According to Speed Identity, as part of the EU programme, countries with high volumes of people entering the EU, receive support in project management, know-how and financing by the EU in establishing reliable, high-security ID documents for travel. Moldova’s new ePassports now include digital, ICAO-compliant facial photos and fingerprints, as well as a number of other document security features to prevent forgery and the creation of false identities.
    Speed Identity says its Speed Identity SCL1000 (Speed Capture Light station), is a proven all integrated solution for instant live capture of facial photos, fingerprints and digital signatures. It has been in use with national authorities in Luxembourg and Sweden since 2008, in both mobile and fix-mount applications. The Speed Capture API has enabled the systems integrator to easily develop a customized enrolment workflow application controlling all features of the capture system, from data acquisition and photographic illumination, to data quality control and file output.
    “This is an important project where Speed Identity, being the expert partner, contributes in upgrading a non-EU country to comply with EU and ICAO regulations for travel document security. Normally such projects require a period of fine-tuning the system after implementation, but we have confirmations from the end user that the deployment phase went very smoothly,” says Magnus Löfgren, CEO at Speed Identity.

    Source: http://www.securitydocumentworld.com

    Disclaimer: The above news is at the sole discretion of Tender Impulse subsribers only and in no ways intends to bring commercial benefits to Tender Impulse.
  •  Regulating body armour won’t stick, said retailers.

    Starting June 15, Albertans who own or want body armour need a legitimate reason under the Body Armour Control Act, or a permit from the Solicitor General and Public Security office.

    Officers will soon be able to charge people wearing bullet or stab-resistant vests, along with seizing the armour if they don’t have a permit. And those people can expect to pay a fine up to $10,000, along with serving six months in the clink.

    “Police now have another resource in their fight against gangs in our communities,” said Jonathan Denis, Alberta’s Solicitor General and Minister of Public Safety.

    “This initiative doesn’t penalize those with a legitimate reason to wear body armour, such as police or security personnel.”

    Albertans with professions in policing, security or safety are exempt from the act, while everyone else needs to explain themselves to the solicitor general and public security office.

    A body armour permit costs $50 per year and takes five days to process. Citizens have to pass a criminal background check in order to get a permit.

    Gordon McGowan, president of rearmament distributor MilArm in downtown Edmonton, thinks the act is “a knee-jerk reaction to a nonexistent problem.”

    Body armour vests are just an Internet search away from anyone who wishes to hide their purchase from the government, McGowan said.

    “If I have a reason to own body armour and I want it, why is it up to the government to determine if my reason is legitimate or not?” McGowan asked.

    Milarms carries around a dozen VestFriend stab-resistant vests and McGowan said they sell only a few each month. Their most common body armour buying customers are nightclub owners looking to equip their bouncers and doormen.

    He has a strict store policy not to sell body armour to civilians, which keeps the gang-bangers from inquiring said McGowan.

    Source: BY MATT DYKSTRA, http://www.edmontonsun.com

    Disclaimer: The above news is at the sole discretion of Tender Impulse subsribers only and in no ways intends to bring commercial benefits to Tender Impulse.
  •  AMMAN -- An armoured vehicles manufacturing plant was inaugurated at the Zarqa Free Zone on Tuesday. The JD2 million Jordanian and Russian investment will provide regional countries, particularly the Iraqi market, with bullet resistant cars, generating around JD24 million in production annually, according to plant Executive Director Ahmad Suleiman.

    Built on a 3,200 dunums of land, the factory will employ 100 workers from the local community and exploit 80 per cent of the national resources, said Nasser Shreidah, chairman of the Jordanian Free Zones Corporation. He added that the plant, the first of its kind in the region, will provide the regional market with highly developed bulletproof vehicles according to European standards.

    Source: http://www.zawya.com

    Disclaimer: The above news is at the sole discretion of Tender Impulse subsribers only and in no ways intends to bring commercial benefits to Tender Impulse.
  •  New legislation to guard against the use of body armour and fortified vehicles by gang members goes into affect this weekend. People who either have or sell the armour must now have proper licenses or permits. However licensed security guards, and corrections officers are exempt. Anyone driving or owning a vehicle that has been adapted to resist bullets or explosives must also have a special permit. All armoured vehicles must also be inspected. Failure to comply results in fines in the thousands of dollars, and possible incarceration.

    Source: http://www.cjob.com,

    Disclaimer: The above news is at the sole discretion of Tender Impulse subsribers only and in no ways intends to bring commercial benefits to Tender Impulse.
  •  Visiongain’s analysis indicates that the global military body armour and personal protective gear market will be worth $1.07bn in 2012. The Military Body Armour & Personal Protective Gear Market 2012-2022 report finds that spending on military protective gear and body armour, despite pressure in the form of defence cuts from many predominant military nations, will remain central to defence budgets worldwide.

    The visiongain author of The Military Body Armour & Personal Protective Gear Market 2012-2022 report commented that: “Spending by militaries worldwide on body armour will remain a fundamental aspect of defence budgets for years to come, as despite budgetary pressures affecting many Western nations at present, an underlying desire and responsibility to provide the best protection to military personnel will spur demand for new and advanced equipment”.


    The report contains 100 tables, charts and figures that quantify and forecast the military body armour & personal protective gear market. Visiongain provides forecasts for the period 2012-2022 in terms of value (US$) for the military body armour & personal protective gear market 2012-2022, as well as for 3 submarkets and 12 leading national military body armour & personal protective gear markets. The report provides profiles of 20 leading companies operating within the market, and includes 3 interviews with experts in the field military body armour, providing specialist insight alongside visiongain analysis.

    The Military Body Armour & Personal Protective Gear Market 2012-2022 report will be of value to current and future potential investors in the field of body armour, as well as companies and research centres who wish to broaden their knowledge of the military body armour & personal protective gear market.

    For sample pages and further information concerning the visiongain report The Military Body Armour & Personal Protective Gear Market 2012-2022 please visit: www.visiongain.com/Report/794/The-Military-Body-Armour-Pe...

    For an executive summary of this report or to order it today please email:
    Sara Peerun at sara.peerun@visiongainglobal.com
    Tel: +44 (0) 20 7336 6100


    Source: http://www.openpr.com

    Disclaimer: The above news is at the sole discretion of Tender Impulse subsribers only and in no ways intends to bring commercial benefits to Tender Impulse.
  •  OSWEGO — Aging police vehicles are slated for discussion during tonight’s Administrative Services Committee meeting, as Oswego’s police chief submitted five requests to bolster the department’s fleet, which would include the addition of an armored surplus military vehicle.

    Oswego Police Chief Tory DeCaire is asking councilors to approve the purchase of a 2012 Chevy Tahoe and a 2012 Chevy Impala. The vehicles would be purchased at or below New York state contract pricing and the funds would come from the police department’s existing budget allotment for vehicles and equipment.

    Also up for discussion is the additional purchase of a 2012 Chevy Tahoe as part of the “Operation Stonegarden” grant administered through the U.S. Border Patrol. According to the Department of Homeland Security website, Operation Stonegarden accepted competitive proposals for $46.6 million available in 2012. The purpose of the grant money is to enhance “cooperation and coordination among local, tribal, territorial, state and federal law enforcement agencies in a joint mission to secure U.S. borders along routes of ingress from international borders,” including Canada and Mexico as well as international water borders.

    Along with the updated traditional fleet vehicles, DeCaire is also seeking to acquire a used “up-armored” surplus military vehicle. Administrative Services Committee Chairman Ron Kaplewicz, R-7th Ward, said he looked forward to hearing about this unusual vehicle. “I’m sure the chief will tell us what it’s all about,” the chairman said.

    DeCaire noted in his request that there is no cost for the surplus military vehicle, as it will remain the property of the U.S. Department of Defense. He noted there would, however, be some cost associated with shipping the vehicle. The committee agenda described the “up-armored” addition to the fleet as useful to the police department in quality-of-life enforcement and outreach programs, as well as being available for use in the event of an armed emergency situation.

    Rounding out the department’s vehicle requests, the police chief would also like to accept a used 1998 Ford pickup truck as a result of a civil forfeiture. If the department of public works deems the vehicle safe, police plan to use it during investigative work. If the vehicle is deemed unsafe, it will be turned over to the DPW for disposal at auction or other approved means.

    During last year’s budget negotiations on Aug. 2, DeCaire informed council members that his request of $84,000 for equipment, which included three new police vehicles, had been reduced to $32,000 in the mayor’s proposed 2012 budget. That would be enough to buy only one new fully equipped police vehicle. The police chief noted that his department used to have a car replacement policy, with two new vehicles included in the budget each year to replace those in the fleet that had acquired high mileage and other maintenance problems from constant use.

    “Then we were told, ‘No cars,’ and we got behind the eight ball,” he told councilors at the time. “To maintain our cycle, we need two vehicles.”

    Councilors Mike Myers, R-2nd Ward, and Shawn Walker, R-4th Ward, looked for ways the city budget could accommodate the police department’s needs. City Chamberlain Deb Coad noted before the finalized budget that there were a few key items that had changed since she and former Mayor Randy Bateman had put the initial proposal together and she re-examined it to see if there was possible funding for an additional vehicle. As a result, additional funds were delegated to the police department, increasing the equipment line to $58,000 in the final adopted budget.

    Even though Crown Victorias would no longer be produced, DeCaire believed at the time that there should be enough of these police vehicles to supply his department through 2012.
    Other committee matters up for discussion will include the request to forward a zone change request at 253 W. Utica St. from an R-2 residential to a B-1 neighborhood business district; a request from the city’s purchasing agent to forward to the Common Council a resolution to accept the lowest bid submitted by WD Malone Trucking & Excavating Inc. in the amount of $1,341,736.00, for the Sanitary Sewer Rehabilitation project, Area 1-Turrill Street Basin; a discussion by the city’s fire chief regarding “special details” for the city’s ambulance service; and a proposal from the DPW commissioner for a life jacket loaner program.

    Committee meetings are held in the council chambers on the second floor of City Hall and begin at 7 p.m.

    Source: By JANET REBEOR-DEXTER, http://palltimes.com

    Disclaimer: The above news is at the sole discretion of Tender Impulse subsribers only and in no ways intends to bring commercial benefits to Tender Impulse.
  •  RR Donnelley isn’t a name you see very often in TechCrunch, but companies don’t survive for nearly 150 years without having one eye trained on the future. With 2011 revenues at an estimated $10.6 billion, the company is one of the world’s largest commercial printers. The printing giant has been stepping up its digital investments of late, and today announced that it has invested $2.5 million in Real Value Corporation, the makers of iPad shopping app, CoffeeTable.

    The Series A investment is the first tranche of a larger investment by RR Donnelley and includes an exclusive marketing relationship between the two companies. CoffeeTable will be using the infusion of institutional capital to launch new personalization and engagement features and hire developers.

    For those unfamiliar, CoffeeTable is a free shopping app for the iPad that aggregates hundreds of retail catalogs to allow users to browse their products on the go, online or offline. CoffeeTable gives shoppers the ability to make purchases from their iPad through secure in-app checkout, while in turn giving retailers a suite of benchmark data and catalog analytics tools that they can use to boost their multi-channel marketing efforts.

    As RR Donnelley is one of the largest printers of retail catalogs in the world, it can now leverage its existing relationship with retailers to help bring CoffeeTable access to a wide range of content from the companies whose products it aggregates, while, in turn, giving those major retailers an additional point of access into the tablet market.

    CoffeeTable’s app allows users to browse full-screen images of products, with zoom functionality, adding products to a shopping cart, both online and offline. Users can subscribe to their favorite brands and have the latest catalogs delivered to their iPad from retailers that include Crate & Barrel, Lands’ End, West Elm, etc. Beyond offering quick checkout across all catalogs through its “Express Checkout,” CoffeeTable also offers giveaways, seasonal pop-up shops, and flash deals which are applied at check out.

    Catalogs are collectively a $270 billion industry, and while individual retailers may offer their own tablet shopping apps, CoffeeTable brings them all together in one place, presumably offering a better shopping experience for the end user. Together, the two companies seem to be looking to establish an Amazon for retail catalogs, and with further development of analytics tools, retailers will be able to get a better sense of the mobile purchasing behavior of consumers — something many of them are lacking.

    Source: http://techcrunch.com

    Disclaimer: The above news is at the sole discretion of Tender Impulse subsribers only and in no ways intends to bring commercial benefits to Tender Impulse.
  •  A new blast defence mechanism could double vehicle protection against mine explosions without additional armour, according to its inventor.

    The active belly plate system developed by Advanced Blast & Ballistic Systems (ABBS) exerts a force against the floor of the vehicle to reduce floor deformation and help stop the vehicle from being thrown into the air.

    The technology, which has been taken to proof-of-concept stage, works by exploiting the short delay between a mine going off and the explosion hitting the underside of the vehicle, using this time to counteract the force of the mine.

    ‘Originally I was dealing with the global acceleration, which is the vehicle jumping in the air, and that on its own can kill you,’ Roger Sloman, managing director of ABBS and inventor of the system, told The Engineer.

    ‘And then I thought that if you put the force down a column in the vehicle onto the belly plate, you can keep the floor down as well, which is even more important. So it’s a very simple concept of actively opposing the force of the mine.’

    Because it deals with global acceleration, the technology should protect lighter cars as well as armoured vehicles. ‘You don’t carry around huge amounts of mass to counteract the blast,’ said Sloman. ‘You can double the mine blast capability of a system, at least.’

    The system detects the shockwaves of a blast, which travel at the speed of sound and arrive around 20 milliseconds before the mass of the explosion, providing enough time for the belly plate to react.

    ABBS received £116,000 from the Ministry of Defence’s Centre for Defence Enterprise to develop the technology and is now seeking funding to build a commercial prototype of the device.

    Sloman said it could be further developed to provide specific forces to match each explosion. ‘Either you can set everything off or you can analyse the strength of the shockwave and get an estimate of the size of the mine and where it is and therefore you can tune the response.’

    Source: By Stephen Harris, http://www.theengineer.co.uk

    Disclaimer: The above news is at the sole discretion of Tender Impulse subsribers only and in no ways intends to bring commercial benefits to Tender Impulse.
  •  A liquid body armour is being developed by BAE Systems (a global defence company) that hardens on impact. The liquid is made up of "freely suspended" particles that "lock" together when disturbed. The benefits include its lightness, flexibility and a reduced injury risk compared to alternatives such as Kevlar.

    Self-sculpting smart sand

    Researchers at the Distributed Robotics Laboratory of MIT are developing robotic cubes that will work like smart self-sculpting sand. In one experiment, one-centimetre-squared cubes contained a microprocessor cabable of storing 32 kilobytes with tiny magnets on the edges that could enable the formation of complex 3D shapes.
    Via BBC.

    Make your own robot

    Another MIT initiative may allow people with no specialised training to become robotics engineers thanks to the ubiquitous technology of 3D printing. If a bespoke robot is required, any individual could download a blueprint, tweak it to suit their need and print a rudimentary robot that will be fully functional within 24 hours.

    Source: http://www.nzherald.co.nz

    Disclaimer: The above news is at the sole discretion of Tender Impulse subsribers only and in no ways intends to bring commercial benefits to Tender Impulse.
  •  MEPs in Strasbourg have questioned the European Commission (EC) about the security of biometric passports following reports of problems with the documents in a number of countries including France and the Netherlands.
    Back in 2008, the European Parliament (EP) identified weak points in the system including problems with the reliability of fingerprints taken from children and the elderly; error rates; lack of experience of the technologies being used; and the risk of fraud at various stages of document deployment. As a result, the EP asked the EC to commission studies into these areas, which are expected to conclude later this year.
    According to the EP, between 500,000 and 1 million of France’s 6.5 million biometric passports in circulation are estimated to be false, having been obtained using counterfeit documents.
    In the Netherlands, an examination of 448 cases by local the authorities in Roermund found that 21% of the fingerprints were non-verifiable and therefore useless.
    As a result, MEPs invited EC representatives to a plenary session on 19 April 2012 to respond to their questions about the effectiveness of biometric passports. They have also asked if it will now consider re-evaluating the rules governing the issue of ePassports in the EU.

    Source: http://www.securitydocumentworld.com

    Disclaimer: The above news is at the sole discretion of Tender Impulse subsribers only and in no ways intends to bring commercial benefits to Tender Impulse.
  •  The U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) has produced 75 million electronic passports at its secure production facilities in Washington, D.C. and Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.

    The electronic, or e-passport program, launched in 2005 and includes an integrated, secure chip and antenna incorporating numerous security features. GPO and the Department of State developed the U.S. e-passport in response to the requirements for Visa Waiver Program countries in the 2002 Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act.

    The Department of State loads personal information, including the traveler’s photograph, digitally onto the chip in each passport. This is the same data that is visually displayed on the photo page of the e-Passport. No personal data is handled by GPO or its suppliers.

    “We appreciate GPO’s continued support of the Department and our efforts to modernize the U.S. passport. Passport issuance, a function of the Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, is our most visible domestic public service program,” said Michael D. Kirby, principal deputy assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs.

    Source: http://www.contactlessnews.com

    Disclaimer: The above news is at the sole discretion of Tender Impulse subsribers only and in no ways intends to bring commercial benefits to Tender Impulse.
  •  China’s Ministry of Public Security announced that after three years of preparations, the authorities countrywide will start issuing electronic ordinary passports from May 15 onwards.
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    The e-passport will contain an electronic chip, which stores personal information of the holder, including name, data of birth, photo, fingerprint and signature.

    The Ministry says that the e-passports are compliant with standards released by ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation), ensuring security and privacy of the personal information of holders.

    The application process will largely remain the same, with two additional steps to collect the applicant’s fingerprint information and signature. Citizens who are under 16 years old or whose fingerprints are missing are exempted from the fingerprint collection process, according the Ministry.

    The new e-passports will have a refined design, with images representing the 31 provincial level jurisdictions, Hong Kong & Macau Special Administrative Regions, as well as Tiananmen, the Great Wall and the Temple of Heaven.

    The Ministry says that more than 10 million passports were issued countrywide last year. And this figure is expected to rise by 20 per cent this year.

    Since 2004, more than 90 countries and territories have started issuing e-passports. And China started issuing electronic official & diplomatic passports last year.

    Source: FutureGov- Asia
  •  MONEY printer De La Rue has cashed in on strong demand for banknotes and passports but stayed quiet over talk it was stockpiling new Greek drachmas.
    The group, which produces more than 150 national currencies, stamps, driving licences and cash sorting equipment, printed 6.4 billion banknotes last year, 8 per cent more than the previous year.
    The start of production on a UK Government deal to produce passports also contributed to a 73 per cent rise in annual profits to £57.7million on revenues up 14 per cent to £528million.
    The firm has won contracts from countries such as South Sudan, which introduced a new currency following independence.
    But it stayed tight-lipped on talk that it had drawn up draft plans to print a new Greek currency should Athens quit the euro.
    De La Rue said last year that the eurozone’s problems could create opportunities.
    Chief ­executive Tim Cobbold said: “It’s always our policy not to comment on matters like that.”
    The group, the profits of which in 2011 tumbled after paper production issues with major ­customer the Reserve Bank of India, has begun a shake-up to boost ­profits to more than £100million next year.
    It said it made good progress, achieving efficiency improvements that contributed about £8million to operating profit.
    A new banknote sorter, which can handle up to 2,000 notes a minute, drove a 14 per cent rise in revenue in the cash processing gear arm.
    But lower customer demand led to falling profits and flat revenues at its security product division, which makes holograms for sports tickets and other valuable printed items.
    De La Rue said orders rose 14 per cent to £248million and it was on track to hit annual hopes. Cobbold said: “The face value of cash in ­circulation is growing, particularly in countries where populations and affluence are rising.”
    The shares fell 32½p to 976½p.

    Source: By Philip Waller, http://www.express.co.uk

    Disclaimer: The above news is at the sole discretion of Tender Impulse subsribers only and in no ways intends to bring commercial benefits to Tender Impulse.
  •  India’s electronic passport project has hit a roadblock as the Amsterdam-based company Gelmalto, selected for supplying chips came under scanner for its alleged role in smart card rollout in Pakistan.

    The Ministry of External Affairs has sought a fresh security clearance from the Ministry of Home Affairs for Gemalto, which was selected to supply chips for the pilot project in 2008. The MNC was reported to be impementing smart card project in Pakistan.

    The Ministry of Home Affairs asked the Department of Economic Affairs under the Ministry of Finance to obtain a self-disclosure report from Gemalto, detailing its businesses in Pakistan. It is also understood to have engaged intelligence agencies to assess if Gemalto’s business in Pakistan could pose a security threat to India in case it is allowed to continue supplying chips for the project.

    Gemalto, however, claimed that the company had never participated in any government project in Pakistan. “We have never had any government projects with Pakistan,” a spokesperson of the company stated in response to queries from Deccan Herald.
    The Gemalto spokesperson said the company did serve governments of over 50 countries with its secure document and e-government solutions.

    Gemalto was known as Axalto before the latter merged with Gemplus on June 2, 2006. Axalto, however, had in August 2005 announced to have supplied high-end EMV (Europay-Mastercard-Visa) chip to Pakistan’s United Bank Limited.

    As the UBL had pioneered EMV rollout in Pakistan, Axalto had provided the bank with a package that included data preparation, cards supply and personalisation solution.

    Gemalto was in September 2008 selected to supply its “Sealys eTravel” solution to India Security Press for the e-passport pilot project, aimed at issuing tamper-proof and secure travel documents to diplomats and officials. The Sealys eTravel package included contact-less communications component of the electronic passports made by the India Security Press. It also included advanced secure operating system and microprocessor that stores and protects the holder’s digital identity as well as the communications antenna.

    The MEA had plans to start issuing e-passports to ordinary citizens in the second phase. But it recently said that the project had to be deferred as it had to seek “fresh security clearance from the MHA in respect of a technically qualified bidder (Gemalto)”.

    Gemalto did not give a specific reply to a query from Deccan Herald on whether the company had submitted the self-disclosure report to the Indian Government. However, in a consolidated response to a set of queries, its spokesperson said the company maintained the policy of customer confidentiality and did not comment on the details of its customers’ operations and processes.

    Notably, in a recent report, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs had expressed “concern over the doubtful background” of Gemalto.

    Source: http://www.deccanherald.com

    Disclaimer: The above news is at the sole discretion of Tender Impulse subsribers only and in no ways intends to bring commercial benefits to Tender Impulse.
  •  With big government contracts up for grabs, we take a look at six of the vehicles vying for military money.
    In service since 1984, the Humvee isn’t getting any younger. Right now the United States military is in possession of nearly 18,500 of them, all of which are set to be replaced by an as-of-yet-to-be-determined successor in 2015. Enter the suppliers and contractors who are all vying for a piece of the government pie. And who can blame them? With $5 billion being awarded across three winning companies – each liable to receive up to $65 million for preproduction engineering, manufacturing, and development – the race to supply the military with its next Joint Light Tactical Vehicle is underway.
    Of course, whenever government contract money is at stake rest assured there are multiple players in line gunning for it. And with the United States government preparing to dish out billions in contract cash in order to replace the iconic military Humvee, competition is fierce.
    Last month, AM General, makers of the original Humvee, unveiled its Blast-Resistant Vehicle-Off Road (BRV-O) in Detroit, but they aren’t the only ones aiming to win those government greenbacks. Stiff opposition from Oshkosh Defense, Lockheed Martin, and BAE Systems, among others, all of which are vying for one of three contracts on the line.
    Given that these hardcore military machines are truly a sight to behold, here is a quick rundown of the six vehicles battling it out.

    BRV-O:
    Makers of the original Humvee, AM General’s BRV-O is somewhat of a latecomer to the party. Shown for the first time last month in Detroit, the BRV-O features a six-cylinder, 3.2-liter turbocharged engine which is said to churn out 300 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque.
    Inside, the BRV-O ‘s crew capsule features energy-absorbing seats, shaped underbody, and modular armor for maximum protection. Of course, added armor can quickly pack on the pounds, reducing overall vehicular mobility. AM General seems to have addressed these issues thanks in large part to an increased payload that provides a margin for added armor, as well as a unique self-leveling suspension aimed at increasing the BRV-O’s tactical maneuverability.

    Eagle:
    A joint effort between General Dynamics Land Systems and AM General, The Eagle may not appear as shiny and bleeding edge as some of its counterparts, but that may just provide it with the advantage it needs to allow the Eagle to soar over the competition. In fact, military buffs will no doubt already be familiar with the Eagle, seeing as how it’s a repurposed version of the Eagle IV, which General Dynamics European Land systems has supplied to the German military since 2008.
    The Eagle isn’t as new, but it is tried and tested; and, perhaps more importantly, it’s relatively cheap at less than $260,000 a pop.

    Lockheed JLTV:
    With utility in mind, the JLVT — a collaborative endeavor consisting of multiple companies including Meritor Defense, L-3 Combat Propulsion Systems, Vehma International of America, with Lockheed Martin at the helm — has been designed from the ground up to be one of more versatile and cost effective entries into the U.S. Army and Marine Corps JLTV competition.
    Already a winning bidder for the first phase of JLTV development, Lockheed was forced into making several modifications to its design by reducing the amount of exotic (read: expensive) materials such as titanium after the Pentagon’s requirements changed for the second phase of the competition.

    Saratoga:
    Launched in October of 2011, Navistar Defense’s Saratoga is yet another entry into the U.S. military’s Joint Light Tactical Vehicle program. Originally designed to target a gap in the light tactical vehicle market, the Saratoga provides a tactical salvo of components aimed at improved mission effectiveness, including metallic or composite add-on armor, and is capable of withstanding arms fire, mine blasts, and IEDs.
    Under the armored hood the Saratoga features a fire-breathing V8 capable of pumping out 340 horsepower and 660 pound-feet of torque.

    Valanx:
    Aside from sporting the coolest name of the bunch, BAE Systems’ Valanx also happens to feature a Ford Power Stroke 6.7-liter turbocharged diesel engine, which BAE indicates gives it a leg up against the competition by providing the best fuel economy, horsepower, and torque of any engine in its class.
    Truck enthusiasts out there will immediately be familiar with the Power Stroke. It’s the same engine Ford uses in its F-Series Super Duty trucks. Previously, the Valanx utilized a Navistar engine in favor of its current mill, but made the switch to the more powerful Ford engine, which is capable of producing an impressive 400 horsepower and 800 pound-feet of torque.
    Other specifics regarding the powertrain remain undisclosed, so we’re not entirely sure whether the engine specs in the Valanx will exactly match up with that of a 2012 F-250 Super Duty.

    L-ATV:
    While the Valanx may score points with its tough-as-nails name and rather futuristic mobile-command-on-wheels design, it is the Oshkosh Defense’s L-ATV that wins us over with its rugged looks and take-no-prisoners attitude.
    Built independently and from the ground up, the Light Combat Tactical All-Terrain Vehicle will make use of Oshkosh’s Tak-4i intelligent suspension system already used in more than 20,000 vehicles. And because fuel economy is a growing concern, Oshkosh offers its ProPulse hybrid diesel-electric drive train.
    According to Oshkosh, the L-ATV features a scalable and advanced crew protection system which can provide dynamic defense capabilities depending on operational and battlefield needs.

    Source: BY AMIR ILIAIFAR, http://www.digitaltrends.com

    Disclaimer: The above news is at the sole discretion of Tender Impulse subsribers only and in no ways intends to bring commercial benefits to Tender Impulse.
  •  OGDEN — After being questioned about their use of new license plate recognition technology, the Ogden Police Department put the equipment on display.

    The OPD gave a demonstration to local media Wednesday on how and why they use Automated License Plate Recognition, a new technology that provides continuous and high-speed monitoring of traffic areas.

    Ogden has one ALPR-fitted vehicle, which costs about $50,000 and features four cameras mounted on top of the police car, with a special computer inside. The department has had the vehicle for about one year.

    OPD crime analyst Dave Weloth said the technology can be used in data-mining efforts related to crime scene investigation, criminal travel patterns, hot spots and for other intelligence purposes.

    Weloth said that, among other things, the system can immediately alert officers of wanted individuals, assist in stolen vehicle recovery and assist in Amber alerts.

    Master Officer Tim Shelstead said he has found three stolen vehicles in the past year as a result of having the technology.

    “My job would be greatly hindered without it,” Shelstead said.

    But the Utah Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union said it is concerned with how information associated with the technology is used, stored and protected.

    In late May, the OPD was one of three Utah law enforcement agencies targeted by the Utah ACLU with records requests seeking information about the technology.

    The ACLU also sent requests to the Utah Highway Patrol and the Iron County Sheriff’s Office.

    A copy of the records request to the OPD shows that the ACLU is seeking information on exactly what type of data is obtained with the technology, who within the OPD can access that data, what procedures those outside of the department must go through to obtain the data and how long data is stored.

    Ogden Police Chief Mike Ashment said he understands the ACLU’s concern about the possible misuse of citizen information, but proper safeguards are in place to make sure that doesn’t happen.

    “We implement the same policies we do with everything else,” he said. “This is no different than any other tool we use that involves information on people or their vehicle.”

    Ashment said the technology fits in with the department’s overall approach of using technology to be more effective and efficient in solving crimes.

    “We are tasked with ensuring the safety of the community,” he said. “This is another tool to help us do our jobs better and more efficiently.”

    Source: By Mitch Shaw, http://www.standard.net

    Disclaimer: The above news is at the sole discretion of Tender Impulse subsribers only and in no ways intends to bring commercial benefits to Tender Impulse.
  •  Iowa City parking officers may soon hear an alarm if they pass vehicles parked illegally or harboring unpaid tickets using an expensive technology that’s the envy of many law enforcement officials.

    The city’s Transportation Services Department is looking for vendors and has set aside $154,000 in its budget for a License Plate Recognition system, which works by mounting a high-definition camera on top of a vehicle that takes photos of license plates and runs them through a scofflaw database. Such software still is rare in Iowa but is picking up steam as it becomes more affordable and accessible.

    The idea is to make parking enforcement more efficient, said Mark Rummel, associate director of Transportation Services. Rather than checking each vehicle in a parking lot or row of meters individually, the software would automatically scan nearby vehicles and sound an alarm if it detects a violation.

    I think just the time it’s going to save us is going to be huge,” he said. “It’s a pretty vast area that we try and cover.”

    Police departments in Iowa, including Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, have looked into such software, but most say it’s too expensive.

    “We couldn’t afford it right now,” said Sgt. Cristy Hamblin, spokeswoman for the Cedar Rapids Police Department.

    Officials with the Iowa City Police Department didn’t return calls for comment, but Assistant to the City Manager Geoff Fruin said LPR technology hasn’t been discussed for the ICPD.

    Johnson County Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek said LPR would be ideal for recovering stolen vehicles or catching barred drivers, but it ultimately is too expensive to be worth it.

    “As you’re going through downtown Lone Tree, to be running every license plate you go by, I could see where that could be useful,” he said.

    Private vendors must submit their proposals to the city by July 12, and the City Council will need to approve the contract. Rummel said he hopes to have the software up and running by late fall at the earliest. It would be installed in one of the department’s Ford Connects but could be put in more in the future, he said.

    The Transportation Services Department only has access to parking violations, permits and meter records, Rummel said, so the software wouldn’t be able to tell whether a vehicle is stolen or whether there’s a warrant for the owner’s arrest, at least not without access to those databases. It would detect whether vehicles have more than $50 in citations that are more than 10 days old, he said.

    University of Iowa Parking and Transportation Director Dave Ricketts said that depending on the cost, his department would be interested in using the software as well.

    “We’ve got 16,000 parking spaces,” he said. “Yes, it would help.”

    LPR technology has become much more reliable and less expensive over the past 10 years, Ricketts said.

    “LPR is definitely going to be in our future,” he said. “How we use it is unclear yet, whether it’s enforcement, cashiering or security, but we’re headed that way.”

    The Polk County Sheriff’s Department installed an LPR system in one of its patrol cars last summer that can check for things such as arrest warrants, stolen vehicles and missing persons, Sgt. Jana Rooker said. The department received a nearly $26,000 Department of Justice grant to pay for the software.

    Rather than having the officer type license plate numbers into their computers while driving, the software automatically scans plates and sounds an alarm if it detects a warrant or violation, she said.

    “So as the officer is driving down the road, almost every vehicle it encounters on the road, that license plate can be checked within a matter of seconds with this software,” Rooker said.

    But not everyone is excited at the sound of that.

    Ben Stone, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa, said he’s concerned about the government’s ability to store the data it collects through LPR software. Steps must be taken now while LPR use is in its early stages to ensure data that’s collected is destroyed, Stone said.

    “As databases become interconnected and synced, more and more and more of this kind of surveillance technology can create the ability of the government to instantly create a dossier, a profile of what people are doing,” he said.

    Source: By Tara Bannow, http://www.press-citizen.com

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  •  Infineon Technologies announced it is supplying the security chips for Malaysia’s new national electronic identity cards. Known as MyKad, the smart card features Infineon’s SLE 78 security controller with Integrity Guard security technology, combined with SOLID FLASH for fast deployment capability. ??

    MyKad is a multi-application national electronic identity card, including biometric identification, which will enable the implementation of additional functions such as driver license, health, ATM, e-signature and eGovernment services. In the past years, Malaysia issued approximately 2 million new identity cards each year.

    Identity cards are used for many years and are subject to intense wear. This is why they must meet specific high requirements. In particular, the bearer’s personal data should be secured during the entire life of the card. ??

    ?The Infineon SOLID FLASH product provides flexibility by using non-volatile memory technologies. The security certified flash product enables a faster reaction to market changes through short lead times and flexible product usage and offers advantages in logistics, development and throughout the certification process.

    A full range of SOLID FLASH products are Common Criteria certified by the Federal Office for Security in Information Technology in Germany as well as type approved by EMVCo making it the choice for many applications while keeping flexibility for upcoming changes. ??

    MyKad also uses Infineon’s Integrity Guard security technology. For identification documents with high demands on security, it offers long lasting security with encrypted Dual CPU-core. With this technology, data is encrypted along the entire data path during processing. The security controller core has two processing units, constantly checking each other’s correct function by utilizing error detection.

    Infineon’s SLE 78 product family with Integrity Guard is used in eGovernment applications, such as the electronic health card, the electronic identification card and in residence permits with biometric data

    Source: http://www.secureidnews.com

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  •  May sound strange nevertheless true. The armoured car business is booming in the drug-hit Mexico, which, after Sunday election, voted back to power the Institutional Revolutionary Party after 12 years. This party had the unique history of ruling Mexico for over 70 long years between 1929 and 2000.

    The purchase of armoured car has been necessitated by the fact that the country has lost 55,000 people in the last six years in drug-related violence.

    To keep themselves safe (from various drug cartels) while travelling many people are opting to buy armoured cars. They consider their vehicles as safe havens.

    Media reports from Mexico suggests that the sale of armoured cars in the last four years have increased by 1000 per cent.

    A middle-size SUV outfitted with armour is bullet-resistant and can withstand 15 to 20 rounds of bullets fired from a handgun. They are also called “family tanks” and became a top issue in the recently held election.

    Enrique Pena Nieto, who finally won the presidential election, had said during the campaign that he wants to focus on curbing violence in the streets and less on catching drug cartel leaders and blocking the flow of drugs into the United States. The US wants most of the Latin American countries, where the drug mafia rules the roost, to intensify their battle against the drug mafia.

    Countries like Peru in South America, which saw decline in the drug cartel, has witnessed their re-emergence recently.

    President-elect 45-year old Enrique Pena Nieto had promised to reinvigorate the economy and reduce rampant drug violence. He will take office in December for a six-year term and thus will restore the party that dominated Mexican politics for most of the past century, at times ruthlessly.

    But against he general prediction of a big victory he ended up only 5.4 percentage points ahead of his leftist rival, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

    Pena Nieto got 37.6 percent support compared to 32.2 percent for Lopez Obrador and 25.4 percent for ruling party candidate Josefina Vazquez Mota.

    The ruling National Action Party (PAN) suffered a crushing defeat as it failed to curb the fierce violence of a drug war that has killed 55,000 people and battered Mexico’s image.

    Having run Mexico as a virtual one-party state for most of the 20th century, the PRI was ousted in an election 12 years ago. It finished third place in the 2006 presidential election.

    But Pena Nieto, a former governor of the state of Mexico (2005-11), restored the party’s pride.

    Not only has he promised to lift economic growth to about six percent a year and create jobs but also draw the heat out of a drug war that has killed more than 55,000 people since late 2006. His main reform proposals include allowing more private investment in Mexico’s state-run oil industry.

    Source: http://nvonews.com

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  •  Xtek has announced that it has completed construction of its first large scale XTclave body armour production plant.

    According to the company the new plant is capable of manufacturing more than 1000 high tech body armour plates per day, and will enable the Australian company to supply defence and law enforcement agencies around the world.

    The company has spent the last five years working towards construction of its commercial scale manufacturing plant, after building its initial small prototype plant in 2008.

    XTek says "the ability of this technology to consistently produce advanced technical composites, such as precision, void free, structural carbon fibre reinforced laminates, capable of withstanding extreme thermal loading is significant.

    "It is believed that this could have considerable utility in areas such as aerospace and aviation industries, in which small numbers of high value products are routinely manufactured according to exacting standards."

    Source: http://www.myfen.com.au

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  •  BANGALORE: From July, including the first Sunday, the regional passport office (RPO), in Bangalore will accept passport application manually at its office in Koramangala.

    "Beginning with the Passport Mela scheduled on June 30 and July 1, the applicants for passport can directly approach the counters at RPO and the passports issued at RPO will have all security precautions, though the applications are accepted manually," said a spokesperson of Ministry of External Affairs ( MEA).

    Biometrics: The ministry will commence incorporating the biometrics as required in countries abroad from 2013. "The passports with biometrics will be introduced from next year and the ministry is trying to install required technical back up by then. For the present the passports will not have bio-metrics as per international standards," the spokesperson said.

    The ministry also held discussions with the employees representatives of RPOs across the country and has reached for an understanding to re-schedule of working hours in view of seven day working day for RPOs to overcome the large quantity of pending applications before the various RPOs.

    "We have convinced the employees of RPOs about the fatigue factor they had to face because of the long working hours, that include the week-end holidays. Once we stabilize the pending numbers of passport applications through the exercise we will revert back to five-days a week schedule. We hope that the pending applications can be cleared by July 7 and July 8, the last two days for Passport Mela," the he said.

    Source: http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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  •  HID Global says it has shipped more than 150 million high-technology eID solutions to governments for citizen IDs around the world.
    The firm has marked this milestone at a ceremony in Ireland, where it has a high-security eID credential facility producing products for access and identification-related applications such as ePassports and contactless swipe ID/access cards.
    “We are proud to be a key provider of secure contactless technology to governments for eIDs worldwide,” says Anthony Ball, senior vice president, Identity and Access Management (IAM), HID Global. “More than 150 million people worldwide, almost a third of all citizens using high-security ePassports and identity credentials, carry our technology with them. We are exporting technology and know-how to every continent, and our local workforce and the entire community can be very proud of this milestone, as well as our contribution to a critical aspect of the world’s security.”
    HID Global says it has shipped more than 100 million components used in ePassports in 30 countries, which comprises approximately 28% of the world’s market. According to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), as of December 2011, a total of 355 million ePassports had been issued globally. The vast majority of EU countries, as well as numerous states outside of Europe, are now issuing machine-readable ePassports. The company has also shipped more than 50 million microchip-based inlays used in eIDs in 22 countries. Other notable achievements include providing tens of millions of units for a variety of European ePassports.
    Set up 15 years ago, the Ireland facility was acquired in 2007 by HID Global. According to the company, it has expanded the operation and made it into one of the country’s most advanced secure technology facilities to accommodate the growing global trend toward eIDs and ePassports. Now one of Connemara Gaeltacht’s largest employers, the operation is dedicated to eGovernment product research, development and manufacturing, and includes a world competence centre for HID Global’s high technology RFID-enabled components.
    “HID Global is at the centre of an important global trend,” says Craig Sandness, vice president of sales at the firm’s Government ID Solutions division. “Governments worldwide are shifting to eIDs to dramatically improve the security, privacy, convenience and confident authentication needed in border and access control, and other important identification-related applications such as national IDs, driving licences, electronic voting and health care. As a leading high-security ePassport and eID component producer, we are able to provide the complete assembly of these critical components from one source.”

    Source: http://www.securitydocumentworld.com

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  •  The International Armoring Corporation (IAC) was founded by Mark Burton in Ogden, Utah, in 1993. He initially planned to manufacture 24 vehicles, but ended up with more than 225 in the first year in business. Since then more than 8,000 vehicles have rolled out of the IAC facilities. Although at the beginning the company provided heavy-duty armored vehicles only for security companies and military contractors, the emergence of the civilian armored-vehicle market made IAC focus on conventional vehicles too.
    IAC offers a lightweight, flexible, bullet-resistant material, which is a blend of synthetic fiber laminates called Armormax, which weighs only 3.9 pounds per square foot. For $65,000 to $85,000 IAC can transform any car into an armor-plated automotive fantasy. The most popular choices are large luxury sedans and suburban-type SUVs, but IAC has also transformed smaller cars such as Toyota Camrys, Maybachs and Aston Martins.
    Burton estimates that around 20% of his customers seek protected transportation to mitigate a known threat or have been targeted for attack in the past, and around 50% just seek an insurance against random acts of violence, such as carjackings.

    Source: http://www.inautonews.com

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  •  William Whyte once boasted in an interview with a Toronto newspaper that his armour-plated vehicles were “pretty awesome machines” and that his customers included a good friend of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

    But when the Canadian man entered into a multi-million-dollar contract to supply the U.S. Defense Department with 32 armoured gun trucks to protect VIPs in Iraq, he only delivered seven — and none of them met the bullet- and blast-protecting requirements, according to a federal grand jury indictment handed down this week in Virginia.

    Federal prosecutors announced late Thursday that Whyte, 67, president of Ontario-based Armet Armored Vehicles, and his company have been charged with three counts of major fraud against the United States, seven counts of wire fraud and three counts of false, fictitious and fraudulent claims.

    The charges have not been proven in court and in a statement emailed to Postmedia News, Whyte, who is not in custody, said he was “shocked at the allegations against me, which I totally deny.” He also said he was prepared to meet with U.S. prosecutors.

    John Lichtenstein, Whyte’s lawyer in Roanoke, Va., said Friday there was nothing he could say about the case.

    Armet, based in King City, Ont., has been armouring vehicles for more than 30 years and has manufacturing sites in Bradford, Ont., Danville, Va., and Tangiers, Morocco, according to a detailed company profile on Industry Canada’s website, which was updated in late 2011.

    The company has an “impeccable worldwide standing” and counts as its clients heads of state, diplomats, government agencies, multinational corporations, police forces and “discriminating individuals worldwide,” the profile states. Its government clients include departments in Canada, the U.S., United Arab Emirates, Europe and Russia.

    Officials with Public Works and Government Services Canada said Friday they were searching to see what, if any, contracts the government may have had with Armet.

    According to the indictment, the U.S. Joint Contracting Command in Baghdad awarded Armet a $4.7 million contract in April 2006 for 24 armoured gun trucks.

    A few months later, a $1.5 million contract was awarded to Armet to build eight more trucks.

    The vehicles were to be used to transport Iraqi VIPs through “hostile and dangerous” environments.

    According to the indictment, the first 24 vehicles were to be delivered by July 31, 2006, but Armet failed to meet the deadline.

    By October 2006, only four trucks had been delivered.

    The following month, Armet, citing cash-flow problems, sought an advance payment of $1 million, the indictment says. The U.S. military agreed to pay the company $824,531.

    But instead of using that money to build more trucks, the money was diverted for “other business and personal expenditures,” the indictment alleges.

    By early 2008, the company had delivered a total of seven vehicles, six of which were accepted by the U.S. military.

    There were other problems.

    The contracts required that the vehicles be bulletproof and that their undercarriages be able to withstand explosions. Armet had promised that the floors of the vehicles could withstand various assaults, including blasts from two U.S. M67 anti-personnel grenades.

    But none of the trucks delivered met the required specifications, according to the indictment.

    The vehicles were also supposed to be equipped with special tires that could withstand punctures. The first five vehicles did not have such tires.

    “(The defendants) knew that all of the armoured gun trucks they had provided were defective and would not protect the officials that they were intended to protect,” the indictment states.

    The U.S. military ended its contracts with Armet in March 2008.

    On Friday, Armet’s website, www.aavi.com, redirected visitors to the website of another company, Terradyne Armored Vehicles, based in Newmarket, Ont.

    In an emailed statement, Terradyne president Durward Smith said: “I can tell you that we have no affiliation with Armet nor its owner. A vehicle design was purchased from them with a temporary redirect of the website to capture any potential business as our understanding is that Armet is no longer making armoured vehicles.”

    Whyte, an ex-York Regional Police officer, has a connection to an infamous heist at an armoured car company 20 years ago.

    In November 1992, armed and masked robbers targeted National Armored Ltd. in Concord, Ont., and made off with more than $8 million in cash and cheques from a vault.

    Whyte managed the armoured carrier company at the time.

    Source: By Douglas Quan, http://o.canada.com

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  •  JD Leipold of U.S. Army public affairs has this article on female body armour:

    Today, both male and female Soldiers wear body armor that has been designed for men. But the Army plans to field to women next summer a new type of body armor, designed for them, that will be shorter in the torso with more customized adjustments specific to the female form.

    Until that happens, the 14 percent of the Army who are women will continue to wear one of the 11 sizes of the Improved Outer Tactical Vest, or IOTV, that are worn by their male counterparts.

    Following anthropomorphic sizing and fitting studies overseas, and also at Fort Bragg, N.C., West Point, N.Y., and Fort Campbell, Ky., between 2009 and 2011, Program Executive Office, or PEO, Soldier started developing female body armor prototypes that addressed the physical differences between the sexes.

    Lt. Col. Frank J. Lozano, the product manager for Soldier Protective Equipment, said one thing his shop realized quickly from the studies was that women generally have narrower shoulders than males. The shoulder area on the new IOTV design was brought in closer to the neck by adding more fabric and opening the area around the armpits.

    The change translates to increased range of motion in the shoulders and upper arms and also allows weapons to be seated in the shoulder weld. The extra material and adjustment straps also allows darting to be incorporated much as it is on a woman’s blouse which will give a more secure and customized fit.

    “Most females tend to have a narrow or thinner waist as it relates to the chest area, so we pulled the waist area in,” Lozano said, adding that it’s not always a one-to-one relationship. “Some women will want more room in the waist area so we allowed for adjustability in the cummerbund in the back which can be pulled in tighter or let out more than on the standard IOTV.”

    PEO Soldier also realized through its multiple studies that the typical torso length for women was for the most part shorter than that of men. The female IOTV will be shorter at the bottom. Lozano said the new design will keep the IOTV from rubbing on the hips, which can cause chafing while walking.

    Female Soldiers had also advised PEO Soldier that the standard IOTV, with its longer torso, causes the front armor plate to press into their thighs when they are seated. This cuts off blood flow to their legs. The female version of the IOTV, with its shortened torso, will address this issue. Additionally, a new exterior plate pocket will allow the armor plate to be inserted from the side in a more diagonal fashion.

    Though not part of the female version of the IOTV design, the Army is also looking for ways to develop armor plating that better conforms to the human body.

    “The challenge right now is that when you bring in those complex curvatures, the plate loses some of its strength,” Lozano said. “We’re working with some armor manufacturers to invest in a manufacturing capability that finds the right chemistry to develop the soft and hard armor necessary to have a complex curved plate at a light weight that still defeats the threats.”

    Developments in protective plate design will make ballistic protection more comfortable and form-fitting for both female and male Soldiers, but that’s a way off.

    Lozano said in the September-October timeframe PEO Soldier will begin fielding 100 prototypes to female engagement teams from the 101st Airborne Division to evaluate.

    “There are 30 females who we’ll provide with spares and repair parts,” he said. “We’ll hold some in reserve in case other females get added to the teams. They’ll do user evaluations, then provide feedback to us that we’ll wrap into the final iteration of the design and look to field to a brigade combat team by next summer.”

    Source: http://blogs.ottawacitizen.com
  •  KATHMANDU: The government is planning to introduce the smart card concept in the transport sector after a gap of two years. The Department of Transport Management has decided to introduce smart cards for driving licences and bill books from the current fiscal year.

    The department will call a global tender for the smart card soon, said director general of the department Chandraman Shrestha. “We have regenerated the concept following a directive from the Ministry of Physical Planning, Works and Transport Management,” he said. The ministry has decided to introduce smart cards in mid-July to reform the transport sector.

    Earlier, in 2010, minister for labour and transport management Mohamed Aftab Alam had tried to introduce smart cards for licences and bill books. However, the process was halted after the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority suspected irregularities in the process.

    Minister Aftab had formed a committee in the ministry to carry out the bidding process breaching the area of the department. According to law, the department should have started the bidding process. The commission found discrepancies in the process.

    According to Shrestha, the tender process will start in three months and implementation of the smart cards will begin at the end of the current fiscal year. “We are serious about implementing it,” he said, adding that smart cards can be effective in controlling the use of fake driving licences and bill books.

    The Asian Development Bank is providing financial support for the initiative.

    Similarly, the department is also planning to introduce embossed number plates for vehicles. The introduction of embossed number plates will help control criminal activities. “Embossed number plates can’t be changed easily, so it will reduce the use of vehicles in crimes,” he said.

    Former director general of the department Saradchandra Paudel had envisioned the concept three years back. “We have been conducting a feasibility study,” he said, adding it will be implemented this year once the study shows a positive result. Tender will be called soon, he added.

    Nearly 1.4 million vehicles are registered in the country including more than 850,000 motorcycles. The policy will affect vehicles plying across the country. The department is planning to implement the smart card from Bagmati zone where about 50 per cent vehicles are registered.

    Meanwhile, the department has completed building digital record of driving licences and bill books in all its 14 zonal offices. The process was started about a decade back. Similarly, the department has introduced e-billing system for collecting transport revenue — licence or vehicle registration and for renewing them.

    Source: http://www.thehimalayantimes.com

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  •  ALEXANDRIA, VA.—Prosecutors indicted a South Korean company and five of its employees on Thursday for stealing the recipe for making Kevlar body armour from the DuPont Co.

    The indictment in U.S. District Court in Alexandria alleges that Kolon Industries engaged in a seven-year conspiracy to steal secrets on the manufacturing process for Kevlar and a similar product called Twaron produced by a large Japanese chemical company, Teijin Limited.

    Kolon would hire current and former DuPont employees as “consultants” who would provide confidential information about Kevlar, including its polymerization process and details of the manufacturing process, according to the indictment. Kevlar is made at a factory in Richmond.

    Kolon used those secrets to improve its process for making Heracron, a product that competes with Kevlar, according to the indictment.

    Several longtime DuPont employees are identified as unindicted co-conspirators in the indictment who received payments of up to $143,000 (U.S.) to engage in the scheme, according to court records. One of the former employees, Michael Mitchell, has already been sentenced to 18 months in prison for his role in the scheme.

    Last year in Richmond, a civil jury awarded DuPont a $920 million (U.S.) judgment against Kolon, which is appealing the verdict and also fighting an injunction that would bar it from selling Heracron in the U.S. for 20 years.

    Source: http://www.thestar.com

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  •  The Imprimerie Nationale, the official supplier and printer to the French government, has chosen Datacard Group to provide systems for France’s e-passport program.

    Datacard will install Datacard PB6500 passport issuance systems. These automated, inline high-volume passport production systems will be able to issue up to 25,000 passports a day.

    The system’s configuration includes automated leafing, inline inkjet printing, smart card encoding, laser perforation and enhanced lamination of secure thin-film overlays. The system’s universal interface comes through Datacard’s Syntera customization suite software to act as a bridge to link the PB6500 passport systems.

    With the system Imprimerie Nationale has been able to cut passport delivery time from six days to two.

    Source: http://www.contactlessnews.com

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  •  The ePassport is the culmination of a sustained process of development of technical specifications for machine readable travel documents (MRTD). It introduces a new dimension to aviation security in that, within the conventional machine readable passport with its machine readable zone, an additional layer of verification of information contained in an electronic chip is placed, which verifies the information in the passport’s machine readable zone by the use of a special reader. Much research has gone into the areas of the technology and verification in the development of the ePassport.

    ver 104 States are currently producing and using ePassports and there are approximately 400 million in circulation. This accounts for 33per cent of all passports used globally. The additional feature that the ePassport carries in the conventional machine readable passport is a chip containing biometric and biographic information which have to be validated accurately, efficiently and quickly while retaining the security and integrity of the information. Ideally, an ePassport should be issued in accordance with the technical specifications approved by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) . However, this does not happen in all cases of issuance of ePassports. This lapse could seriously compromise global security. The nuances of this threat are described and discussed in this article against their legal background.

    At a recent Symposium on machine readable travel documents, biometrics and security standards.held at ICAO on 10 to 12 October 2012, experts addressed ICAO machine readable travel documents (MRTD) standards and specifications, identity management best practices and related border security issues. Sri Lanka, an issuer of machine readable passports, was represented at this Symposium. Foremost among these discussions was the ePassport, which is defined by ICAO as a passport which has a contactless integrated circuit (IC) chip within which is stored data from the machine readable passport page, a biometric measure of the passport and a security object to protect the public key infrastructure (PKI) cryptographic technology, and which conforms to the specifications of Doc 9303 part 1 . The ICAO Facilitation Manual defines the ePassport as a machine readable passport that has a contactless integrated circuit embedded in it and the capability of being used for biometric identification of the machine readable passport holder in accordance with the Standards specified in the relevant part of ICAO document 9303 (Machine Readable Travel Documents) . ePassports are easily recognised by the international ePassport symbol on the front cover .

    Biometric Identification

    It is important to note that the operative terms in the definition of the ePassport are “biometric identification” and “public key infrastructure (PKI) cryptographic technology”. Biometric technology involves a measurable, physical characteristic or personal behavioral trait used to recognize the identity, or verify the claimed identity of a person. Biometric identification has been defined as “a generic term used to describe automated means of recognizing a living person through the measurement of distinguishing physiological or behavioural traits” .

    Biometrics target the distinguishing physiological or behavioral traits of the individual by measuring them and placing them in an automated repository such as machine encoded representations created by computer software algorithms that could make comparisons with the actual features. Physiological biometrics that have been found to successfully accommodate this scientific process are facial recognition, fingerprinting and iris-recognition which have been selected by ICAO as being the most appropriate. The biometric identification process is fourfold: firstly involving the capture or acquisition of the biometric sample; secondly extracting or converting the raw biometric sample obtained into an intermediate form; and thirdly creating templates of the intermediate data is converted into a template for storage; and finally the comparison stage where the information offered by the travel document with that which is stored in the reference template.

    Biometric identification gets into gear each time an MRTD holder (traveler) enters or exists the territory of a State and when the State verifies his identity against the images or templates created at the time his travel document was issued. This measure not only ensures that the holder of the document is the legitimate claimant to that document and to whom it was issued, but also enhances the efficacy of any advance passenger information (API) system used by the State to pre-determine the arrivals to its territory. Furthermore, matching biometric data presented in the form of the traveler with the data contained in the template accurately ascertains as to whether the travel document has been tampered with or not. A three way check, which matches the traveler’s biometrics with those stored in the template carried in the document and a central database, is an even more efficacious way of determining the genuineness of a travel document. The final and most efficient biometric check is when a four way determine is effected, were the digitized photograph is visually matched (non electronically) with the three way check described above . In this context, it is always recommended that the traveler’s facial image (conventional photograph) should be incorporated in the travel document along with the biometric templates in order to ensure that his identity could be verified at locations where there is no direct access to a central database or where the biometric identification process has not entered into the legal process of that location.

    Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) Cryptographic Technology

    PKI Cryptographic technology uses a brand new technique known as quantum cryptography, designed to eliminate the terrifying vulnerabilities that arise in the way digitally stored data are exposed to fraudulent use. This new technique uses polarized photons instead of electronic signals to transmit information along cables. Photons are tiny particles of light that are so sensitive that when intercepted, they immediately become corrupted. This renders the message unintelligible and alerts both the sender and recipient to the fraudulent or spying attempt. The public key directory - designed and proposed to be used by customs and immigration authorities who check biometric details in an electronic passport, is based on cryptography - and is already a viable tool being actively considered by the aviation community as a fail-safe method for ensuring the accuracy and integrity of passport information.

    In order to assure inspecting authorities (receiving States) that they would know when the authenticity and integrity of the biometric data stored in the MRTD, which they inspect, are compromised and tampered with, the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) scheme was developed by the TAG/MRTD, which has been pioneering work on the MRTD for over a decade . The scheme is not calculated to prescribe global implementation of public key encryption, but rather acts as a facilitator enabling States to make choices in areas such as active or passive authentication, anti-skimming and access control and automated border crossing, among other facilitative methods. The establishment of a public key directory, through means of public key cryptology and in a PKI environment, is consistent with ICAO’s ultimate aim and vision for the application of biometric technology on the fundamental postulate that there must be a primary interoperable form of biometric technology for use at border control with facilities for verification, as well as by carriers and the issuers of documents. This initial premise is inevitably followed by the assumption that biometric technologies used by document issuers must have certain specifications, particularly for purposes of identification, verification and the creation of watch lists. It is also ICAO’s vision that States, to the extent possible, are protected against changing infrastructure and changing suppliers, and that a technology, once put in place, must be operable or at least retrievable for a period of ten years.

    The ePassport

    The story of the passport- the precursor of the ePassport – starts with the birth of an individual and his birth certificate, which records the event of birth and time and place thereof. The Civil Registry is able, with this document to primarily establish the identity of the person at birth and inform his country of his details for purposes of maintaining census and vital statistics. The passport, which uses this information, gives a person a name and natonality that is required for him to travel internationally. The passport is a basic document in the transport by air of persons. Its use therefore is of fundamental importance as a travel document, not only because it reflects the importance of the sovereignty of a State and the nationality of its citizens but also because it stands for the inviolability of relations between States that are linked through air transport.

    The key consideration of an ePassport is Global Interoperability — the crucial need to specify a system for biometrics deployment that is universally interoperable. a Logical Data Structure (LDS) for ePassports required for global interoperability. It defines the specifications for the standardized organization of data recorded to a contactless integrated circuit capacity expansion technology of an MRP when selected by an issuing State or organization so that the data is accessible by receiving States. This requires the identification of all mandatory and optional Data Elements and a prescriptive ordering and/or grouping of Data Elements that must be followed to achieve global interoperability for reading of details (Data Elements) recorded in the capacity expansion technology optionally included on an MRP (ePassport). The other considerations are Uniformity — the need to minimize via specific standard setting, to the extent practical, the different solution variations that may potentially be deployed by member States; Technical reliability — the need to provide guidelines and parameters to ensure member States deploy technologies that have been proven to provide a high level of confidence from an identity confirmation viewpoint; and that States reading data encoded by other States can be sure that the data supplied to them is of sufficient quality and integrity to enable accurate verification in their own systems; Practicality — the need to ensure that specifications can be operationalized and implemented by States without their having to introduce a plethora of disparate systems and equipment to ensure they meet all possible variations and interpretations of the standards; and Durability — the requirement that the systems introduced will last the maximum 10-year life of a travel document, and that future updates will be backward compatible.

    The major components of a biometric system are: Capture — acquisition of a raw biometric sample; Extract — conversion of the raw biometric sample data to an intermediate form; Create template — conversion of the intermediate data into a template for storage; and Compare — comparison with the information in a stored reference template.

    In terms of security and privacy of the stored data, both the issuing and any receiving States need to be satisfied that the data stored on the IC has not been altered since it was recorded at the time of issue of the document. In addition, the privacy laws or practice of the issuing State may require that the data cannot be accessed except by an authorized person or organization. Accordingly ICAO has developed specifications in Section IV regarding the application and usage of modern encryption techniques, particularly interoperable public key infrastructure (PKI) schemes, to be used by States with their machine readable travel documents as made in accordance with the specifications set out in Doc 9303. The intent is primarily to augment security through automated means of authentication of MRPs and their legitimate holders internationally. In addition, ways and means are recommended to implement international ePassport authentication and to provide a path to the use of ePassports to facilitate biometric or e-commerce applications.

    Conclusion

    The foremost necessity is to establish a strong security culture in every State. For this, there must be a clear definition of State responsibility and accountability brought to bear by a close and unbreakable link between government and industry stakeholders. A security culture would make States aware of their rights and duties, and, more importantly, enable States to assert them. Those who belong to a security culture also know which conduct would compromise security and they are quick to educate and caution those who, out of ignorance, forgetfulness, or personal weakness, partake in insecure conduct. An ePassport must necessarily be the result of efficient and fail-safe organizational arrangements. It should be tested at border control by trained professionals.

    eGovernment and eID are the bare essentials for State security. The digital economy has also brought much facilitation that helps the world move to paperless processes which result in greater economy and streamlined processes. However, there must essentially be global harmonization in this process. In this regard ICAO has made remarkable progress in advancing its MRTD programme to the level it is at now. If harmonization means ensuring consistency between global practices, standardization means compliance with international Standards. There is no room for doubt that both harmonization and globalization are needed in this context.

    Source: by Dr. Ruwantissa Abeyratne, http://www.srilankaguardian.org

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  •  The Conservative government’s fervour for Canadian history will play out on the pages of your new passport, soon to be unveiled after nine years of delays and cost overruns.

    After a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign for the War of 1812 and the announcement that they plan to rename the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Ottawa as the Canadian Museum of History, the Tories are set to unveil new designs for Canada’s electronic passport that focus on key historical moments, HuffPost has learned.

    Bureaucrats at first recommended the government adopt images of fauna and flora to grace the inside pages of the new travel document, similar to the United Kingdom’s passport. The Conservatives chose instead to follow the example of the U.S. passport, which features images of the Declaration of Independence and Mount Rushmore, and focus on history.

    “It will be something that Canadians can be proud to carry,” said Rick Roth, a spokesman for Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird. Roth refused to elaborate on the design sketches that will be part of the new electronic passport, which will be issued for five- and 10-year time periods.


    What would you like to see in the passport design? Share your comments
    The implementation of Canada’s ePassport, which includes an electronic chip with facial recognition information, has been delayed for nine years. A pilot program for diplomats and public office holders was planned for 2005 but did not get under way until 2009. The national roll-out was put on the back burner until the 2008 budget announced ePassports would be ready in 2011. Then it was 2012. Now, they should be ready in 2013.
    Canada is the last G7 country to implement the international standards established by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in 2003. All of Canada’s key allies and more than 95 countries, including Pakistan, Sudan and Tajikistan, have pushed ahead with the technology.

    Source: By Althia.Raj, http://www.huffingtonpost.ca

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  •  Zimbabwe is exploring the implementation of ePassports before the end of the year, according to the country’s Home Affairs co-minister Theresa Makone.
    ePassports, also known as “biometric passports” contain an electronic chip that is encoded with surname, given name, date of birth, place of birth and gender information. It also includes a digital picture of the bearer’s face. Signatures are not reproduced on the chip.
    The Zimbabwe government believes that the introduction and mass production of the new travel document will reduce the price of the document. Currently, an ordinary Zimbabwean passport costs US$50 while other regional countries charge less than US$30.
    Makone said that a new digitalized document would curb counterfeit documents and would also allow the country to match the rapidly adopted international ePassport standard.
    The deployment of the ePassport also coincides with the Foreign Ministry’s new digitalized passport application processes, which allow residents to obtain passport applications online.
    Despite the online availability of ePassport applications, applicants will still need to go to the passport office to complete their applications in person, and will also require a national ID card in order to submit their application.

    Source: By Stephen Mayhew, http://www.biometricupdate.com

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  •  
    Trüb has signed a new agreement to continue to provide electronic and secure polycarbonate data pages for Republic of Lithuania ePassports.
    According to the firm, the electronic data page is attached to the ePassport booklet through a patented and robust page binding element, and is designed for a lifespan of 10 years. Issuance of passports with an electronic polycarbonate data page started in January 2008. The chip stores personal data, a facial image and two fingerprints of the document holder.
    The latest contract builds upon a 2008 agreement which engaged Trüb to supply highly secure polycarbonate data pages with embedded chip to the Lithuanian Personalisation Center of Identity Documents.
    The data pages are integrated into the Lithuanian passport booklets by UAB Garsu Pasaulis and then personalized by the Personalisation Center of Identy Documents, which is part of the country’s Ministry of Internal Affairs.
    “It is widely recognised that the Lithuanian biometric passports are a valuable indicator of the country’s distinctive attitude to security-oriented innovation,” said a Ministry of Internal Affairs official.
    ePassports, also known as “biometric passports” contain an electronic chip that is encoded with surname, given name, date of birth, place of birth and gender information. It also includes a digital picture of the bearer’s face. Signatures are not reproduced on the chip.

    Source: By Stephen Mayhew, http://www.biometricupdate.com

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  •  Morpho has won another international call for tenders from the Finnish National Police Board to supply the country’s new ePassports, as part of a consortium including Oberthur Technologies. The consortium has been providing Finland with secure ePassports since 2006.
    Within the consortium Morpho provides the passport booklet which includes a set of new and improved security features on its polycarbonate data page. The data page also contains an integrated microchip which stores the holder’s personal details and biometric data (fingerprints and facial image). Morpho also supplies its ICAO PKI system and its personalization solution.
    With enhanced physical and electronic security features, Finland’s new passport will provide greater protection against identity theft and fraud, and enable fast, secure identification of passport holders.
    Finland began issuing its new ePassports at the end of August 2012.

    Source: http://www.planetbiometrics.com

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  •  Cash-strapped New York has tentatively chosen the highest bidder to produce driver’s licenses under a disputed contract that would provide only black-and-white photos and end up costing the state nearly $38 million more than the current contract if it’s approved.

    According to court papers reviewed by The Associated Press, the losing vendors, including the company that has produced New York licenses with color photos for 16 years, are protesting the $88.5 million award to a Canadian company.

    The award to CBN Secure Technology Inc. of Ottawa is also being reviewed by the state comptroller.

    CBN is part of the Canadian Bank Note company that prints Canadian money, passports and driver’s licenses worldwide. Company officials did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

    The DMV tentatively awarded the contract to the high bidder 10 months after New York advised the current vendor, De La Rue North America Inc., that because of “significant budgetary constraints” the state would have to reduce the cost of the contract, according to the court filings. As a result, De La Rue submitted a bid 10 percent lower for the new, eight-year contract, which ended up being nearly $38 million less than CBN’s bid.

    De La Rue, based in England, and Massachusetts-based MorphoTrustUSA, another unsuccessful bidder, want a rebid.

    They claim CBN offered a black-and-white “polycarbonate” card they say is less secure than their color-picture IDs on cards made of “Teslin.” The losing bidders say they also weren’t informed the state wanted a black-and-white polycarbonate card and that CBN received an illegal advantage. De La Rue and MorphoTrustUSA said they could have offered a bid on that type which could save taxpayers’ money.

    The lawsuit also claims the state had required a color image ID, a requirement they claim CBN violated.

    The driver’s license contract is rebid under the federal “Real ID” measure from the Department of Homeland Security to make licenses more secure and more states are expected to face similar contract decisions.

    The state Department of Motor Vehicles won’t comment until the comptroller’s review concludes and the contract award is final. State records show cost was valued at just 20 percent of the evaluation of bids, with a 30 percent emphasis on security. Other categories included production and quality control, the production site and data security, the imaging device and experience and expertise, according to the record.

    Trade publications note the CBN technology and black-and-white photos are well-regarded for security in driver’s licenses and other documents.

    The losing companies claim poor judgment and mishandling of the bid is apparently to blame for the state’s decision.

    “Polycarbonate and Teslin are both highly secure materials suitable for drivers’ licenses,” said MorphoTrust Vice President and General Counsel Scott Boylan. “The key differences are value and flexibility. Polycarbonate is far more expensive than Teslin while providing no additional security benefit. Teslin cards also can accommodate color photos, which enable more security features, whereas polycarbonates cannot.”

    CBN “failed a mandatory technical requirement which related to the ability to provide color text for the cards, a mandatory requirement,” stated De La Rue in its lawsuit.

    State records show the DMV criteria for the bid, however, appear to not require a color image ID, according to a court filing.

    The state comptroller’s office is now evaluating the bids.

    “While I can’t comment on specific contracts, our impartial review of bid protests is essential to protect New Yorkers from millions of dollars in unnecessary costs,” said Kate Gurnett, spokeswoman for state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

    “Our bid exactly met the requirements of the (Request for Proposal) and at significantly less cost to the New York taxpayer,” said De La Rue spokesman Rob Hutchison

    CBN and De La Rue are close competitors with a long history of providing secure documents including driver’s licenses. CBN also holds government contracts to print postage stamps, passports and visas that must be counterfeit-proof.

    State records show no campaign contributions from its top officers to any New York officials. CBN, founded in 1897, also has a lottery systems division for gaming run by governments, but has no contracts with New York where Gov. Andrew Cuomo is trying to expand gambling.

    Source: http://libn.com

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  •  A UK-based military hardware manufacturer will open a Sh3.5 billion plant in Mombasa to capture the growing arms race in Eastern Africa as well as target peace-keeping missions.

    Osprea Logistics has started construction of the plant following approval from the Kenya Investments Authority to assemble armoured cars and military trucks under the Mamba brand — which is commonly used by Africa Union peacekeepers, private contractors in Iraq and several African countries.

    This will be the first armoured vehicle manufacturer in the region and the company is targeting regional governments and peacekeeping missions in Congo, Sudan and Somalia, which are emerging as a fertile markets for military hardware.

    “Osprea plans its first-year production of Mamba Mk5’s to be over 100 vehicles, which can translate to work for over 200 people,” said Salih Brandt, the chairman of Osprea Logistics in an email response to the Business Daily.

    “Kenya is strategically located and offers great access to the rest of Africa compared to South Africa where Osprera’s other manufacturing plant is.”

    Mamba is a South-African made armoured personnel carrier that offers protection against small arms fire and land mines.

    Powered by a Mercedes Benz engine, it is suited for a rough terrain and can carry up to 10 passengers plus the driver.

    This has made it a favourite for military operations in remote zones and it became the face of the Iraq war following increased use by private security contractors.

    Rising threats of terrorism, cross-border raids and internal conflicts in East Africa have seen countries increase their military budgets.

    Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania have together increased their defense spending to Sh87 billion last year from Sh59 billion in 2007, according to data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri), an independent research organisation.

    The data shows that Kenya’s spending at Sh45.8 billion was far much higher than that of Uganda, which had a budget of Sh21 billion, and Tanzania whose budget stood at Sh22 billion.

    Kenya, last year, ordered 67 US-made heavy truck diesel engines from South Africa, 37 of which have so far been delivered at an undisclosed cost.

    Uganda also showed the highest number of military equipment imports among EAC member countries.

    Burundi depicted one of the highest military budgets on the continent according to Sipri making the region a good market for an arms manufacturer.
    The region’s defense forces buy their armoured cars and trucks mainly from Russia and South Africa.

    “There is a tangible move world-wide towards ‘smart investing’ in defence budgets, with an emphasis on domestic procurement and industry in order to capture a dual benefit of domestic investing as well as platform efficiency,” says Mr Brandt.

    Source: By RAWLINGS OTINI, http://www.businessdailyafrica.com

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  •  The Smart Card Alliance has released its second annual E-Yearbook, highlighting the events that happened in the North and Latin American smart card industry throughout 2012.

    This year’s review contains industry briefs, perspectives, insights and company profiles covering a wide range of markets and technologies. It also contains an expanded section on the EMV Migration Forum, information about the new Mobile and NFC Council, highlights of September’s Transportation Council meeting and reprints of white papers and position documents produced by the SCA throughout the year.

    The E-Yearbook is available at the SCA’s website. The SCA will send printed copies to members and have them available at Alliance conference events

    Source: http://www.contactlessnews.com

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  •  The UAE Central Bank and the Emirates Identity Authority have met to consider enhancing co-operation in regards to using the smart ID card and activating its applications in the financial sector.
    The two agencies discussed creating a joint committee to draft a strategic co-operation agreement that includes a number of initiatives aimed at promoting the culture of digital ID and knowledge-based economy, as well as enabling the UAE Central Bank to upgrade the performance of the financial sector while protecting the identity of consumers with the advanced features of the Emirates ID card.
    According to a report in The Emirates News Agency, the UAE Central Bank clarified that its draft strategic and operational plan includes an initiative for creating an e-wallet system using the ID card that would ultimately replace cash for the management and operation of the UAE Central Bank.
    Emirates ID says it’s ready to provide maximum support to ensure the success of all the development projects and initiatives that are implemented or planned to be implemented, as a part of the government’s initiative to engage in a knowledge-based economy in a manner that serves the top interest of the UAE.
    As reported previously in BiometricUpdate.com, official transactions related to Emirates ID cards were disrupted for nearly two days following a technical glitch with its online e-form system.
    In 2009, Emirates ID developed a plan which contributed to doubling the number of population register and therefore, the fingerprints of individuals over the past three years by six times.

    Source: By Adam Vrankulj, http://www.biometricupdate.com

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  •  The Egyptian government has recently approved a new smart card system for subsidized fuels, originally proposed by the ministries of finance and petroleum.
    The program, designed to ensure that those in most need of these subsidizes are indeed those who receive it, would charge the ministries of petroleum and mineral resources with implementing and overseeing the new smart card program for the National Bank of Egypt and Ahly banks.
    In this process, contracts were awarded to both government banks without a bidding process, in order to quickly implement the new laws to take hold in April, Daily News Egypt reports.
    Logistically, daily transfers will be made to companies producing petroleum products and will be represented in the difference in price for fully and partially subsidized fuel for the amount consumed through the smart card program. A database of beneficiaries will also be created.
    Many distribution programs like this take off without a hitch, but there are also those that encounter resistance along the way.
    Reported in BiometricUpdate.com, a system in India has been implemented which sees the production and distribution of biometric food ration cards, though members of an indigenous group have demanded the withdrawal of the cards, citing irregularities and complications in obtaining food.

    Source: By Adam Vrankulj, http://www.biometricupdate.com

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  •  Gemalto is providing the Royal Oman Police with an electronic passport solution for the Sultanate. Applicants will be issued with secure travel documents in line with Oman’s goal to provide enhanced services and protection to its citizens, using digital security technologies. ??

    The solution includes Gemalto’s ICAO compliant Sealys e-passport documents and a full Coesys solution suite to enroll citizens, personalize and issue secure documents. The multi-year contract also covers training, support and maintenance services.

    Major Royal Oman Police offices will be equipped with fixed and mobile stations to register e-passport applicants with personal information and biometric data. Each e-passport will feature secure embedded software and a contactless microprocessor which will contain the holder’s digital fingerprints and. The solution will facilitate Omani travelers immigration control, and speed up the passport application and document issuance process. ??

    In the public sector, Gemalto is contributing to more than 80 government programs worldwide, supporting for example e-passport initiatives in Côte d’Ivoire, Denmark, Estonia, France, Korea, Norway, Malta, Morocco, Portugal, Singapore, Sweden and the U.S.

    Source: http://www.secureidnews.com

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  •  Libya has taken delivery of 49 armoured support vehicles from Jordan. Some 120 of the UAE-designed and built NIMRs, in two variants, have already been in service with the Libyan army .

    The spokesman for the Libyan General Staff. Ali Shiekhi was quoted by Chinese news agency Xinhua today as saying that the new NIMRs had been supplied as a result of an agreement made last year, between the Ministry of Defence and Jordan. The new armoured vehicles are to be deployed immediately on border patrol duties.

    More than 500 NIMRs have been sold, mostly in Jordan, Lebanon, Libya and the UAE, and the firm says that it has a further 1,800 orders. The composite ceramic-armoured NIMRs, which come in four and six-wheel variants and a range of configurations, are according to the manufacturers, the first such military vehicles to be designed specifically to operate in extreme desert conditions. NIMR Automotive which conceived and makes the armoured vehicle, is a part of the UAE’s Tawazun conglomerate, which specialises in defence equipment. Algeria was last year seeking to establish a local plant to build and assemble NIMRs.

    Source: http://www.libyaherald.com

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  •  ABI Research forecasts 8.6 billion smart cards will ship in 2013, spanning all smart card markets. Of the total shipments, 16% are forecasted to use a contactless interface but that will rise to 30% by 2018.

    Government ID, transportation and ticketing, and payment cards continue strong double-digit growth in contactless adoption. Single-wire protocol SIM card volumes continue to strengthen, and are expected to break the 500 million mark in 2018.

    “The increase in contactless adoption is not limited to a selection of markets, although it’s the banking and government verticals which are adopting contactless technology at a quicker rate, with the SIM market close behind,” comments Phil Sealy, research analyst at ABI.

    Over the next three years ABI Research expects to see a shift in the penetration ratio of pure contactless and dual interface shipments. In 2013, ABI Research forecasts 59% of all contactless deployments will utilize a pure contactless interface, reducing to 38% in 2018.

    The increase in dual interface adoption is apparent across multiple markets. IC vendors NXP, Infineon, and STMicroelectronics are positioned to offer the best combination of convenience and high-end security over multiple applications. Additionally, the increase in dual interface adoption will deliver greater margins benefiting IC and smart card vendors alike.

    “ABI Research tracks new services and credentials regionally, including governments issuing new national ID and social welfare cards, mobile network operators with SIM-based NFC payment services and wallets, and banks jumping to next-generation dual interface EMV cards,” Sealy states. “As a result ABI Research forecasts that dual interface shipments will exceed the 1 billion mark in 2015.”

    Source: http://www.secureidnews.com

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  •  The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) will this year introduce biometric identity cards which will be issued instantly at the point of registration to subscribers.

    It would also start work on piloting electronic claims (E-claims) processing and host an extended stakeholder review of the capitation pilot in the Ashanti Region to inform its improvement and the subsequent nationwide rollout of this provider payment method.

    The Chief Executive of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Mr Sylvester A. Mensah, disclosed this when he addressed members of the core management team of the NHIS and some key stakeholders at a management retreat held at Elmina in the Central Region.

    Mr Mensah noted that although remarkable progress had been made in meeting targets, there was the need to consolidate those achievements and make the scheme more efficient, adding that 2013 would be a busy year for the authority.

    He said the NHIA intended to establish three more claims processing centres in the Northern, Central and Ashanti regions, to complement the centre in Accra. This, he maintains, would complete efficiency measures into claims management nationwide.

    Among other numerous initiatives, Mr Mensah disclosed that the scheme would be re-branded consistent with the new law, new vision and mission and operational architecture of the NHIS, adding that the financial manual of the NHIA would also be reviewed to place greater responsibility on the centre to prevent the abuse and fraud occurring at the regional and scheme levels.

    Others are: a permanent and joint clinical and claims audit team would be established to undertake forensic claims audit across the country all-year round to track isolated cases of connivance between schemes and providers.

    Mr Mensah mentioned that subscriber satisfaction was a key performance indicator for the NHIA, therefore, a subscribers’ handbook detailing the benefit package, medicines and subscriber rights and obligations would be compiled and made available to all subscribers at the point of registration and membership renewal.

    In order to further educate the public on the operations of the scheme, Mr Mensah said a quarterly NHIS policy dialogue forum to be beamed live on television stations would be instituted.

    Also, the NHIS medicines list/pricing would be reviewed to reflect market realities.

    He further said the authority would begin modernising and transiting from an ICT concept, “which places more emphasis on infrastructure, to a management information system (MIS) which places premium on generating information for management decision-making”.

    Among a litany of achievements recorded in 2012, he cited the passage of the new law, NHIA 2012, Act 852, the upward review of provider Tariffs by 26 per cent, creation of the condition to accommodate family planning in the NHIS benefit package, development of a consolidated premium account, the pilot of capitation in the Ashanti Region, the establishment of an operational call centre and functional clinical audit division.

    Mr Mensah told the management team that “posterity will not forgive us if, in nurturing this infant institution, it slips into structural, operational, and financial inefficiency”.

    The President of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), Dr Kwabena Opoku-Adusei, who was present at the event, pledged his association’s commitment to the NHIS.

    He gave an assurance that the GMA would continue to be a strong ally of the NHIS and would collaborate with the authority on the rollout of capitation across the country, if all their concerns were addressed.

    He said the GMA would continue to constructively criticise the NHIA to ensure that the scheme stands the test of time.

    Other participants and contributors included a former Health Minister, Dr Richard Anane, under whose watch the law which established the NHIS was passed in 2003 (Act 650), and other foreign delegations.

    Source: http://graphic.com.gh

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  •  New research from ABI Research forecasts 8.6 billion smart cards to be shipped worldwide in 2013; a combined number spanning all smart card markets. Of the total forecasted shipments, 16 percent are expected to use a contactless interface.
    ABI attributes most of this growth to the increase in adoption of Government ID, transportation and ticketing and payment card systems. In 2013, ABI forecasts 59% of all contactless deployments will utilize a pure contactless interface, reducing to 38% in 2018.
    According to the company, “The increase in dual interface adoption is apparents across multiple markets. IC vendors, NXP, Infineon and STMicroelectronics are positioned to offer the best combination of convenience and high-end security over multiple applications. Additionally, the increase in dual interface adoption will deliver greater margins benefiting IC and smart card vendors alike.”
    ABI’s Market Data report focuses on the collection of primary data from leading manufacturers of smart cards and secure ICs. The data includes the installed base and annual shipments of smart cards and secure ICs by technology and interface type, by region and vertical markets.
    “The increase in contactless adoption is not limited to a selection of markets, although it’s the banking and government verticals which are adopting contactless technology at a quicker rate, with the SIM market close behind,” Phil Sealy ABI Research analyst said. “ABI Research tracks new services and credentials regionally, including governments issuing new national ID and social welfare cards, MNOs with SIM-based NFC payment services and wallets, and banks jumping to next-generation dual interface EMV cards. As a result, ABI Research forecasts that dual interface shipments will exceed the 1 billion mark in 2015.”
    Last year, in a Biometrics Research Note, Rawlson King forecasted that the market for electronic identity cards – for which smart cards are often used – will reach US$5.2 billion by 2015.
    Smart cards often carry biometric data of the card holder and are finding their way into many workflow processes, identity programs among a long list of uses.
    BluStor is an emerging player in the smart card market, currently developing a smart card with an 8GB capacity, to enable the downloading of apps and to verify identity absent of a data connection. BiometricUpdate.com recently had a chance to talk shop with CEO Finis Conner about how BluStor came to be, his ambitions as chief executive as well as what the future holds for his company.

    Source: By Adam Vrankulj, http://www.biometricupdate.com

    Disclaimer: The above news is at the sole discretion of Tender Impulse subsribers only and in no ways intends to bring commercial benefits to Tender Impulse.
  •  Papua New Guinea’s Defence Minister, Fabian Pok, says a two-million US dollar military aid grant from China will be spent on armoured cars, troop carriers and uniforms.
    The grant follows Dr Pok’s talks with his Chinese counterpart General Liang Guanglie in Beijing last month and meetings there with exporters of military ware.
    The visit comes as PNG plans a five fold increase in troops over the next decade.
    Dr Pok says PNG will also ask China to help maintain swimming pools and gymnasiums at PNG’s military barracks.
    “They want to be seen as not being too involved in our military issues here. China is also trying to export things like uniforms and armoured cars and all these things. So it’s also in the business interests of not the Chinese military but people who are building these things to market their products to countries like Papua New Guinea.”

    Source: http://www.rnzi.com

    Disclaimer: The above news is at the sole discretion of Tender Impulse subsribers only and in no ways intends to bring commercial benefits to Tender Impulse.
  •  Frost & Sullivan has released new analysis stating that the global border control and biometrics market will see increased growth due to international cooperation. However, this growth may not be realized unless privacy issues are resolved and organizations are able to measure ROI.

    The analysis, “Global Border Control and Biometrics Market Assessment,” covers the security, military, government and law enforcement sectors of the industry. It found that the market’s 2012 revenues were $5.8 billion, and it anticipates that the market will earn $15.8 billion in 2021.

    Frost found that one of the main drivers in this market growth stemmed from agencies and organizations working together on an international level to collaborate on travel security, which has led to more implementation of electronic documents and readers.

    Western markets have been at the forefront of this trend, with many countries having e-passports and testing eGates. Many pilot projects are taking place in Europe, with facial recognition technology being the preferred biometric modality. Russia is also looking into the use of biometrics as an identifier.

    Eastern markets, such as China and India, are just starting to incorporate e-passports and eGates into their travel processing systems.

    While the opportunity for growth is good, Frost does caution that budget cuts and privacy concerns could have a detrimental effect on plans to invest in biometric technology; however, cheaper technology and public education could mitigate those possibilities.

    Source: http://www.secureidnews.com

    Disclaimer: The above news is at the sole discretion of Tender Impulse subsribers only and in no ways intends to bring commercial benefits to Tender Impulse.
  •  For many years now, IT professionals have become more and more active in discussions about physical access control systems and there has been an active debate about the need for convergence between physical and logical access. IT managers use electronic means to secure logical assets; security managers use physical access control methods to secure facilities. On the surface, it would seem that both departments would benefit greatly from collaboration since both of their problems boil down to permitting access to the right people.

    With such an obvious synergy and benefit to taking a more holistic view of enterprise security, why hasn’t this yet happened? What are the real barriers preventing companies from moving in this direction?

    Perhaps one of the answers lies with the fact that we’ve been more focused on the “what” than the “who.” If organizations are really going to make a meaningful impact on protecting their assets, whether physical or virtual, it’s most important to focus on the “who”—and coordinating that task between IT and security is becoming important.



    Who was that (really)?

    Although privileges are assigned to people, it’s not always clear who is entering a password or who is carrying an RFID card. The risk of not knowing “who” varies from asset to asset. Is it enough to be the holder of a swipe card to enter a parking garage? Probably. How about to access a medical record? Absolutely not!

    It is in this context that biometrics is playing a larger role in securing facilities and assets of all kinds. With the introduction of multispectral imaging, biometrics has become reliable enough to deal with the fundamental issue of knowing “who” to a much higher degree of confidence.

    In fact, by linking physical identity to a myriad of digital identities, converged identity and access management solutions become much more powerful. There is no meaningful access management without first establishing the “who” in transactions. Who is accessing my facility? Who is punching the time clock? Who is withdrawing funds from that ATM? The question is always, “Who?”

    Thus, while access and authorization have always been granted to individual people, knowing a password or having a key is only superficially related to the authorized person—and neither can establish who exactly that is. Only biometric technology can do that.



    It’s more than just about security

    We’ve all seen it: business grinds to a halt after the deployment of a new security system. Designing an authentication solution that is both secure and convenient—that’s where the value is for the customer.

    Convenience in an authentication solution is ease-of-use, accessibility, speed and all of the other things that become important to an organization after the primary objective—security—is met. Staffing help desks to reset passwords or reissue swipe cards while the employee is standing by is not an efficient use of resources. Nurses on a hospital floor cannot waste valuable seconds fumbling with the numbers and special characters in a password when accessing medical supplies.

    A biometric solution can lower risks, reduce costs and improve efficiencies. It can meet regulatory requirements, provide an audit trail and facilitate transactions, all without getting in the way of business. Today, biometric solutions authenticate people requiring access to secure facilities, sensitive records, government services and controlled substances. The possibilities and benefits are real if the biometric is chosen carefully.

    Security integrators are already aware that biometric technologies and scanners are not created equal. Some optical sensors work very well when the finger is clean and prepped with lotion. Is that convenient? Other sensors work perfectly—on the third or tenth try, while a line forms behind the user. These situations are the cases that cause security managers to abandon an application.

    On the other hand, multispectral imaging is capable of overcoming the myriad of fingerprint capture problems that conventional imaging systems have in less-than-ideal conditions. The high performance delivered by multispectral biometrics affects more than security, it allows authentication to recede into the background while authorized people go about their business. That’s no compromise, that’s convenience!



    What about customers?

    Because biometrics can be so quick and easy to use, they are ideal for customer-facing applications. Today, financial institutions around the world are embracing multispectral fingerprint biometrics for authenticating customer transactions. In addition to enhancing transaction security, banks are able to provide additional convenience for their customers because there is no need for training; customers just present their finger at the ATM.

    Biometric patient authentication is becoming important for reducing medical errors and for minimizing fraudulent access to healthcare. Government and private insurance programs around the world rely on multispectral fingerprint biometrics to prevent fraudulent use of the policy. Officials at one government program report that the biometric deployment actually facilitates faster access to medical service by authorized patients while saving costs.

    Theme park access is a customer-facing application where convenience plays a special role. To prevent ticket fraud, one major international theme park wanted to be able to link each ticket to a specific customer. However, because the overriding goal was to create a positive environment for paying customers, there couldn’t be even the illusion of a barrier between a customer and the park. The transaction had to be quick and intuitive for anyone to use. It’s significant to note that this biometric solution did not require identification of the customer, assuring the privacy of guests. Multispectral fingerprint authentication was chosen for its reliability and convenience. As a result, the solution reduced transaction time, enhanced customer experience and reduced ticket fraud.

    This scenario is being repeated in other commercial customer-facing situations, such as membership-only fitness clubs, large sporting events, nightclubs and other places where it’s important to maintain convenience for the customer, even during an authentication transaction.



    Deploy an enterprise-wide

    authentication solution

    IT managers have their hands full. Threats are coming from every direction and on top of it all employees want to use their own devices. Users hate security solutions that simply get in the way of them doing their jobs. Multifactor authentication is becoming a must, but the difficulty of managing point solutions is increasing risk, not reducing it. And the smartest smartcard still cannot assure the organization that the person holding is it the person it was issued to. They need to know “who.”

    Security integrators know “who.” They’ve been integrating biometrics at the door for some time now. Perhaps it’s time to walk across the hall and have a conversation with the IT manager about integrating biometrics into an enterprise-wide authentication solution.

    Source: By BY PHIL SCARFO, http://www.securityinfowatch.com

    Disclaimer: The above news is at the sole discretion of Tender Impulse subsribers only and in no ways intends to bring commercial benefits to Tender Impulse.
  •  Brigadier-General Kwame Opoku-Adusei, the General Officer Commanding the Northern Command of the Ghana Army, on Tuesday said the government has purchased 34 armoured reconnaissance vehicles to argument the logistics of Ghanaian peacekeepers.

    The armoured vehicles are to facilitate the migration of Ghanaian peacekeepers from the “Dry Lease” to the “Wet Lease system,” Brig-Gen. Opoku-Adusei stated during Ghanbatt 77’s Medals Presentation Parade at Lebanon.

    He said the military high command had outlined plans to provide logistical support for the migration of the Ghanaian contingent on peacekeeping duties in Lebanon (Ghanbatt) from the “Dry Lease” to the “Wet Lease” system to enable it to be self-sufficient.

    A Ghana Armed Forces statement issued in Accra and signed by Lieutenant Commander M. A. Larbi and copied to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) said the Commander of the Northern Command commended the Ghanbatt 77.

    “I am personally satisfied with what I have seen and heard about your performance during my visit to the Ghanbatt Area of responsibility and I urge you all to continue with the good work”.

    Brig Gen Opoku-Adusei, who was the head of a six-member military delegation to Lebanon, used the occasion to update troops on current developments in the country as well as within the Ghana Armed Forces.

    The Commander and his team also paid a courtesy call on United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) Deputy Force Commander, Brig Gen Patrick Phelan, who expressed appreciation for the performance of Ghanaian troops.

    The Commanding officer of Ghanbatt 77, Lt Col Francis Anemana, assured the delegation that Ghanbatt is poised in executing its assigned tasks successfully despite the challenges.

    Chief Military Personnel Officer, Col Reginald Yemo Odoi, thanked the government of Ghana for the high profile delegation to the Medals Day Parade and described Ghanbatt 77 as a wonderful battalion which executed its task with high professionalism to the admiration of UNIFIL High Command.

    Source: http://www.ghanaweb.com

    Disclaimer: The above news is at the sole discretion of Tender Impulse subsribers only and in no ways intends to bring commercial benefits to Tender Impulse.
  •  The Government of the Macau Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China has awarded a contract for the manufacture and development of smart ID cards for its residents.

    The new generation of ID cards will be purely contactless, and will store personal data and biometric information such as fingerprints on a digital chip embedded in the card. The IDs can be used as conventional IDs, providing sophisticated visual and electronic proof of identity, but will also allow citizens to carry out transactions with the government electronically, saving time and effort.

    The contactless system will also provide faster data transfer rates while card reading, useful especially for the large number of people who use their IDs in regular travel between Macau, Hong Kong, and China, as the processing time for travellers will significantly reduce. The new national ID card will also support contactless electronic signatures.

    A security protocol developed by Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security will be used to ensure the security of data on the cards and during contactless transactions. Named PACE (Password Authenticated Connection Establishment), the protocol will create a secure connection between the chip in the card and a card reader, and encrypt data before the transfer.

    The contract for the manufacture and delivery of the cards was awarded to Munich-based technology company, Giesecke & Devrient. In addition to development and manufacture of the cards, G&D will develop the required smartcard applications and modify the existing infrastructure according to the needs of the new technology.

    The government will also receive an advanced operation system platform for smartcards, which will be ready to support additional features in the future, such as contactless payment. The new set of ID cards is expected to be introduced in October 2013.

    Source: By Sumedha Jalote, http://www.futuregov.asia/

    Disclaimer: The above news is at the sole discretion of Tender Impulse subsribers only and in no ways intends to bring commercial benefits to Tender Impulse.
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