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U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command abruptly cancels iPad 2 order

post #1 of 93
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In a surprising announcement, the Air Force Special Operations Command said on Wednesday that it had canceled an order for 2,861 iPad 2 tablets that were slated to be used as electronic flight bags.

Government technology website Nextgov.com reports that the announcement comes two days after the publication queried AFSOC over its inclusion of Russian-developed secure document viewer GoodReader in the outfit's planned iPad 2 flight software suite.

There is no evidence that the software was the cause of the decision to not move forward with the electronic flight bag initiative, however other military officials have chosen not to use Russian software for fear that sensitive data would be compromised.

For example, the Army's smartphone project director, Michael McCarthy, noted that he would not put end users at risk by implementing software developed, maintained and updated in Russia.

AFSOC spokeswoman Capt. Kristen Duncan, said that the command "continues to explore options to develop the electronic flight bag program. We continue to look at each component of the [electronic flight bag] program to ensure we do the right thing for our airmen, don't introduce unnecessary risk into operations and provide the best tools available to conduct the mission."

In a move to replace bulky paper-based flight bags, airlines have been slowly moving toward tablet-based solutions that could save millions of dollars per year in fuel costs. The iPad was approved as an electronic flight bag in 2011, and a handful of carriers have already started to implement the device on the flightdeck.




A basic flight software package needs a document reader that can display navigation charts and flight manuals, with military outlets requiring the addition of encryption as the iPad has not been federally certified to store and transmit information.

GoodReader has proved to be a viable solution as it provides both ease of use and strong data encryption methods.

The software is currently being used in the electronic flight bags of Alaska Airlines pilots, and Delta is expected to use the program when it goes paperless later this year.

In an email exchange with Nextgov, GoodReader's developer Yuri Selukoff took offense to the notion that his software would be a security issue.

"Someone's still living in 1970, aren't they?" Selukoff said. When asked about possible malicious code that could affect mission-critical data, he replied, "what is this offensive and insulting assumption based on? Are there any actual facts or complaints that such thing has ever happened?"

Selukoff pointed out that he is not affiliated with any government body and added that he would be open to any security test if asked.

It remains to be seen if AFSOC's cancellation will affect a decision from the Air Force's Air Mobility Command to order up to 18,000 iPad 2 tablets.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

In a surprising announcement, the Air Force Special Operations Command said on Wednesday that it had canceled an order for 2,861 iPad 2 tablets that were slated to be used as electronic flight bags.

Waiting for iPad 3, perhaps
post #3 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neruda View Post

Waiting for iPad 3, perhaps

Nah, they saw the ABC report and are now looking to sign the petition.
post #4 of 93
If I were in charge of the Air Force, I would definitely not use any Russian software, especially when it comes to matters related to security and national defense. A KGB guy is basically running Russia and they are not to be trusted.
post #5 of 93
Hey, US AirForce? It's even worse than that! The iPads you've ordered were all built in China! You know ... communist China!

Oh, and about them Russians? I don't know if you know this, but erhm ... the Soviet Union kinda went belly-up two Decades ago. Yup, that's right, Sir. They ain't commies no more. Just thought you might want to know.

*salutes and facepalms*
post #6 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garion View Post

Hey, US AirForce? It's even worse than that! The iPads you've ordered were all built in China! You know ... communist China!

Oh, and about them Russians? I don't know if you know this, but erhm ... the Soviet Union kinda went belly-up two Decades ago. Yup, it's true, Sir. They ain't commies no more. Just thought you might wanna know.

salutes and rolls eyes

It's a good thing that you're not in control of national security or important military matters.

Russia is certainly no ally of the USA and they usually side with every evil country in the world and enemies of the US, whenever there are conflicts.
post #7 of 93
Absolutely SPOT-ON, Neruda. Most of the tech world knows (believes strongly) that iPad 3 is less than two weeks away from announcement/release. Why in the world would the Air Force want a tablet that is about to be "previous-gen"? My experience with government purchasing agencies is that the very TITLE of the iPad 3 requires that the former PO be withdrawn, rewritten, and resubmitted with the NEW identifier . . . iPad 3 instead of iPad 2.
post #8 of 93
The Right Move.

No evidence is required when national security is involved.
post #9 of 93
probably like me got galaxy tab 10.1 instead.
post #10 of 93
If I were them Id want custom-developed Air-Force-Only software. Developed under their control and to their specs.
post #11 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by VinitaBoy View Post

Absolutely SPOT-ON, Neruda. Most of the tech world knows (believes strongly) that iPad 3 is less than two weeks away from announcement/release. Why in the world would the Air Force want a tablet that is about to be "previous-gen"? My experience with government purchasing agencies is that the very TITLE of the iPad 3 requires that the former PO be withdrawn, rewritten, and resubmitted with the NEW identifier . . . iPad 3 instead of iPad 2.

It didn't stop the DOD from spec'ing a fairly old Android smartphone (Dell) with an older version of Android (2.2 IIRC) as the only smartphone approved for secure uses. By the time the US Government purchasing wheels get done turning it's nearly certain what was new is now old.

I personally doubt the rumored impending release of the iPad 3 played a part in the decision to cancel.
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post #12 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

If I were them Id want custom-developed Air-Force-Only software. Developed under their control and to their specs.

Then run it on hardware made by Foxconn.
post #13 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coojo View Post

probably like me got galaxy tab 10.1 instead.

It's made in China, but the fake one.
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post #14 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

I personally doubt the rumored impending release of the iPad 3 played a part in the decision to cancel.

I agree. I asked Siri where bin laden was and she gave me a list of texmex joints and a 24 hour fitness. iPad 3 not ready for the Air Force much less the teams.
post #15 of 93
Wow, that logo/crest has some seriously effed up typography.
post #16 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

It's a good thing that you're not in control of national security or important military matters.

Russia is certainly no ally of the USA and they usually side with every evil country in the world and enemies of the US, whenever there are conflicts.

Glad both of you are not involved in any national security for USA. Both paranoid, talk first, think later type people. Your comments are as bad as his.
post #17 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


Russia is certainly no ally of the USA and they usually side with every evil country in the world and enemies of the US, whenever there are conflicts.

Evil. Lol. You mean every country that is not aligned with US policies or way of life is evil, right?
Good soldier.
post #18 of 93
rounding up thats about 1,500,000...
post #19 of 93
But the DOD still wants to use blackberry. Canadian-born blackberry.
post #20 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by souliisoul View Post

Glad both of you are not involved in any national security for USA. Both paranoid, talk first, think later type people. Your comments are as bad as his.

It's better to be a tad cautious instead of ignorantly careless when it comes to matters of national security.

And you're right. Many people can probably be extremely glad that I am not in charge of national security, because things would not be too pleasant for certain types of people.
post #21 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

It's a good thing that you're not in control of national security or important military matters.

Russia is certainly no ally of the USA and they usually side with every evil country in the world and enemies of the US, whenever there are conflicts.

Osama Bin Laden's rise to prominence was a creation of the US, based on being funded and armed to fight the Russians in Afghanistan.

Which didn't exactly work out so well for those "in control of national security or important military matters" at that time.
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Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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post #22 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sipadan View Post

Evil. Lol. You mean every country that is not aligned with US policies or way of life is evil, right?

Nope. I mean nothing of the sort.
post #23 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garion View Post

Oh, and about them Russians? I don't know if you know this, but erhm ... the Soviet Union kinda went belly-up two Decades ago. Yup, that's right, Sir. They ain't commies no more. Just thought you might want to know.

*salutes and facepalms*

You don't read the news much these days, do you?
post #24 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

Osama Bin Laden's rise to prominence was a creation of the US, based on being funded and armed to fight the Russians in Afghanistan.

Which didn't exactly work out so well for those "in control of national security or important military matters" at that time.

And what does that have to do with the topic? Can Russian software be trusted for use by the US military? The answer is no.

The US has made many blunders in the past, some worse than others, and it will certainly make blunders in the future. Your point being?
post #25 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coojo View Post

probably like me got galaxy tab 10.1 instead.

you could be right

http://www.mobileburn.com/18449/news...-for-field-use
post #26 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

And what does that have to do with the topic? Can Russian software be trusted for use by the US military? The answer is no.

The US has made many blunders in the past, some worse than others, and it will certainly make blunders in the future. Your point being?

That wrong decisions are made, no matter who is making them, that good can be evil and visa versa depending on time and place.

In relation to your previous comment that I was replying to.

When I was young, here in Australia the mantra they were drumming into us was "All the way with LBJ" part of that whole "Reds under the bed","Domino Theory", "Yellow Peril" thing.

You'd think America would have moved on by now.
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post #27 of 93
The thread is starting to lean a bit too far into politics. \
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post #28 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

When I was young, here in Australia the mantra they were drumming into us was "All the way with LBJ" part of that whole "Reds under the bed","Domino Theory", "Yellow Peril" thing.

You'd think America would have moved on by now.

The cold war was a very real threat and I'm sure you'll remember that there were Russian missiles right next door to the US for a short time.

What do you mean by move on? Russia is still not any friend of the US. There is no cold war anymore, but Russia is definitely no ally of the US.
post #29 of 93
Meanwhile in America, fear and paranoia is still the best weapon. Followed by lawsuits (and counter lawsuits). The masses then enjoins by petitions. Ah, the freedom of life. /s
post #30 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

The cold war was a very real threat and I'm sure you'll remember that there were Russian missiles right next door to the US for a short time.

What do you mean by move on? Russia is still not any friend of the US. There is no cold war anymore, but Russia is definitely no ally of the US.

The world is a capitalist playground, so much for the level playing field.

Disable wifi and sync the iPads with DOD servers with hardware based encryption and there is complete control of the software on it, no matter what the source.

Or better yet pay some Americans to come up with an alternative to this Russian software, it's a document reader, how hard can it be?
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post #31 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splash-reverse View Post

Meanwhile in America, fear and paranoia is still the best weapon.

I don't see how you can say that when you live in a Big Brother type country where the average person is captured about 70 times a day!
post #32 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

Or better yet pay some Americans to come up with an alternative to this Russian software, it's a document reader, how hard can it be?

That's precisely what the military would do, if they deemed it necessary. If somebody doesn't trust somebody else, then simply do it yourselves. That's the obvious solution.
post #33 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neruda View Post

Waiting for iPad 3, perhaps

The first thing I thought too.
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post #34 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garion View Post

Hey, US AirForce? It's even worse than that! The iPads you've ordered were all built in China! You know ... communist China!

Oh, and about them Russians? I don't know if you know this, but erhm ... the Soviet Union kinda went belly-up two Decades ago. Yup, that's right, Sir. They ain't commies no more. Just thought you might want to know.

*salutes and facepalms*

Russia is still the bully they used to be. They started up the practice of sending bombers to Alaska and Canada to see if we would attack them . They still do these kinds of things and its in the millitaries best intrests to not use russian made software.
post #35 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

That wrong decisions are made, no matter who is making them, that good can be evil and visa versa depending on time and place.

In relation to your previous comment that I was replying to.

When I was young, here in Australia the mantra they were drumming into us was "All the way with LBJ" part of that whole "Reds under the bed","Domino Theory", "Yellow Peril" thing.

You'd think America would have moved on by now.

I think about half have.
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post #36 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

If I were them Id want custom-developed Air-Force-Only software. Developed under their control and to their specs.

I don't know the madeby the air force part, but certainly there is a better way than just PDFs in a reader. Like one thing with search tools and the ability to push updates to the devices

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post #37 of 93
Oooooh, Yuri Selukoff is insulted...better back off US Military and use the software, we can't afford to piss off a software engineer in Russia who can't see the bigger picture.
post #38 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

It's a good thing that you're not in control of national security or important military matters.

Russia is certainly no ally of the USA and they usually side with every evil country in the world and enemies of the US, whenever there are conflicts.

I understand what you are trying to say but oversimplifications of this nature (good v evil) which fail to accommodate the actual complexity of the circumstances are generally not helpful?
post #39 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neruda View Post

Waiting for iPad 3, perhaps

That was my first thought too... but I wouldn't trust their intel to be that reliable.
post #40 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neruda View Post

Waiting for iPad 3, perhaps

They've probably been shown an iPad3 prototype already.
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