TSA looks to spend $3M on Macs, iDevices in pilot program

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration is set to initiate a pilot program to purchase up to $3 million dollars worth of Apple hardware over the next three years, including 1,000 Macs and 1,000 mobile devices.

Outlined in a document filed earlier in May (via NextGov), the Apple hardware and software will find use in certain areas of TSA's Risk Based Counter-Terrorism mission and are deemed "critical to meet a variety of operational, programmatic, and mission specific requirements."

Normally, government organizations must allow for full and open competition contracting practices sanctioned Federal Acquisition Regulation, but the TSA argues that only Apple products will fit the needs required by the program and has filed for Class Justification and Approval to that end.

Speaking to why competing contracts are impossible, it was noted that Apple's OS X and iOS platforms are locked to hardware made by the company, thus no competing manufacturer exists. In defense of its removal of barriers to competition, the TSA said that "until such a time as Apple allows other operating systems to function its hardware the requirement to obtain Apple products by means other than full and open competition will continue to exit."

According to the filing, the equipment will "fill a gap" in the TSA's existing hardware ecosystem and is intended to be used in media production, forensic network and computer examinations, mobile operations, training and software development, among others. TSA's Apple plans stem from a 2009 effort to diversify and mobilize the organization's IT model to make a more flexible and effective workforce.

Interestingly, the agency said that nearly every government and commercial organization first releases apps for Apple's iOS and subsequently rolls out Android version of the same software. The note reveals that many of the 106 publicly available government-written apps, like Smartraveler, FBI, FCC and EPA, are only available on iDevices.

MyTSA
The TSA's own public app, MyTSA, provides travelers with security wait times, weather and other tools.



The document notes that while the agency has existing Microsoft Windows and RIM BlackBerry capabilities, a "public driven demand for mobility" has pushed the TSA toward Apple, saying that the company is "one of the major OEMs today that produce a widely used full suite of hardware, software and licensing," It was also mentioned that a separate similar request is being filed for Google's Android platform, but details are currently unavailable.

The organization is covering all the bases and lists the following proposed procurements: any products currently within or added to the Apple line of products to include but not limited to computers, iPads, iPhones, iPods, Apple TVs, Apple OS, App Store apps, peripherals and accessories such as monitors, extended warranties and repairs, including AppleCare, required to support the Apple product line in an enterprise/production environment.

The TSA is the latest government agency to dabble in iOS device procurement and follows steps taken by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Bureau of Tabacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to move away from the once ubiquitous BlackBerry platform. Earlier in May it was reported that federal managers were quickly ditching BlackBerry devices in favor of iOS and Android devices
«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 45
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,468member
    [SIZE=6]Good for Apple, bad for the country. [/SIZE]

    Sadly the expansion of the TSA is just another Obama mistake. I want to see Apple establish itself in business and government but not at the expense of further encroachment on our freedom. Apple should politely decline the sale.
  • Reply 2 of 45
    msecheamsechea Posts: 6member


    Can't wait to get my hands on this!

  • Reply 3 of 45


    This is good news.


     


    The TSA is an organization noted for its reasonable, well thought out procedures and decisions.  They have kept us safe.

  • Reply 4 of 45
    This is the best thing the TSA has ever done for the country!
  • Reply 5 of 45
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,249member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Hyram Gestan View Post

    The TSA is an organization noted for its reasonable, well thought out procedures and decisions.  They have kept us safe.


     


    Unfortunately the law of diminishing returns started to apply LONG ago for the TSA. They passed reasonable a few years back going 120 in a 35MPH zone.

  • Reply 6 of 45


    This is the best thing the TSA has done for this country!

  • Reply 7 of 45


    I took this as immense sarcasm. Was I wrong? 

  • Reply 8 of 45
    msimpsonmsimpson Posts: 452member


    And in other news,  Al Qaeda is implementing a "Bring Your Own Device" (BYOD) program for its members.  

  • Reply 9 of 45
    ivkivk Posts: 46member


    TSA needs to vanish faster than the Patriot Act. Only place where you can molest children and get away with it outside of the Catholic church.

  • Reply 10 of 45
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member


    Finally, the Government is stepping up and buying more advanced forms of computing.  I guees the Federal Government is turning into a bunch of switchers.  YEAH...


     


    And what is Steve Ballmer doing?  Who?

  • Reply 11 of 45
    slang4artslang4art Posts: 376member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Hyram Gestan View Post


    This is good news.


     


    The TSA is an organization noted for its reasonable, well thought out procedures and decisions.  They have kept us safe.



    Surely you jest...

  • Reply 12 of 45
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post



    Good for Apple, bad for the country.

    Sadly the expansion of the TSA is just another Obama mistake. I want to see Apple establish itself in business and government but not at the expense of further encroachment on our freedom. Apple should politely decline the sale.


    We actually do need the TSA, it's just that SOME people are not exactly doing the best job.  With anything, there are always a few bad apples in the bunch.  Do you want to have another 911 attack? I don't.  Do you?


     


    I've NEVER had any problems going through airport security. It might a little extra time, but that's about it.  I knew of someone that did, and apparently he had a loaded weapon, but it was only used to protect himself since he is a dealer of expensive jewelry/art as he travels with expensive items that could easily get ripped off, but he should just been a little more careful in how he transported the freaking thing when traveling on an airplane.

  • Reply 13 of 45
    ivkivk Posts: 46member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by drblank View Post


    We actually do need the TSA, it's just that SOME people are not exactly doing the best job.  With anything, there are always a few bad apples in the bunch.  Do you want to have another 911 attack? I don't.  Do you?


     


    I've NEVER had any problems going through airport security. It might a little extra time, but that's about it.  I knew of someone that did, and apparently he had a loaded weapon, but it was only used to protect himself since he is a dealer of expensive jewelry/art as he travels with expensive items that could easily get ripped off, but he should just been a little more careful in how he transported the freaking thing when traveling on an airplane.



     


    No, they do not do any good at all. Numerous people have shown that the current security is a joke when they can get weapons past. There is zero reason for their invasive tactics, their disregard for human compassion such as destroying vital medical equipment, stealing money, arresting people who refuse the pat downs, using equipment that they lied about the radiation levels, and the legalized sexual assault against citizens. Don't want your child to be molested and voice your concerns? Off to jail you go! These aren’t isolated incidents, they happen quite frequently.


     


    This post 9/11 justification for removing our rights is the name of "national security" an abomination. Let me guess, Republican?

  • Reply 14 of 45
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,347member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by IVK View Post


     


    No, they do not do any good at all. Numerous people have shown that the current security is a joke when they can get weapons past. There is zero reason for their invasive tactics, their disregard for human compassion such as destroying vital medical equipment, stealing money, arresting people who refuse the pat downs, using equipment that they lied about the radiation levels, and the legalized sexual assault against citizens. Don't want your child to be molested and voice your concerns? Off to jail you go! These aren’t isolated incidents, they happen quite frequently.


     


    This post 9/11 justification for removing our rights is the name of "national security" an abomination. Let me guess, Republican?



     


    Republican? What Republican in their right mind would support the TSA. They are a disaster! They should be disbanded and the airlines and airports should be jointly held responsible for security.

  • Reply 15 of 45
    ivkivk Posts: 46member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


     


    Republican? What Republican in their right mind would support the TSA. They are a disaster! They should be disbanded and the airlines and airports should be jointly held responsible for security.



     


     


    Neo-conservatives sure love police state tactics since 9/11. It's like they fell in love with 1984 and wanted to make it a reality after 9/11.

  • Reply 16 of 45
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by IVK View Post


    TSA needs to vanish faster than the Patriot Act. Only place where you can molest children and get away with it outside of the Catholic church.



    So how many children have actually been molested?  I saw the video on the little girt.  First off, if you are traveling to an airport and YOU KNOW that people have to be screened, The little girl shouldn't have been wearing such a skimpy outfit.  Sorry, I call foul on the parents for that one.  Secondly, if the metal detectors goes off TWICE, everyone regardless of age/gender has to be hand searched, which was all the TSA woman was doing. The problem is the girl was crying because they took her teddy bear away from her to run it through the X-ray machine, Mandy is just a little girl and she doesn't understand what is going on and she is crying because they took her teddy bear away from her for a couple of minutes.  The TSA woman was doing what she is REQUIRED to do.  Now, MOST people wouldn't think that the little girl is packing anything to cause alarm.  Yes, other countries have children involved with carrying bombs etc. and that's not normal for this country.  The best thing I can suggest is that parents with children should make sure their kids understand that anything they carry is going to be TEMPORARILY taken away, they should dress the kids with proper attire for traveling and being searched in a airport and think about what they might be wearing that could set off these metal detectors.  Yeah, it was unfortunate in the case that the little girl started crying, but under the circumstances, I don't see a big deal, I wouldn't not call it molestation for harm to the child, and I wouldn't do anything for the mother except apologize for the inconvenience and maybe give the kid a lolly pop or a little toy much like Doctors and Dentists do when there is a little discomfort.  Some kids react a lot more than others.  But molestation?  NO. That wasn't molestation, that was just a pat down for about a minute while the girl was throwing a temper tantrum because the woman doing it was probably intimidating because she was rather large and black and they took her teddy bear to have it scanned.  I don't know if they could have handled it any better under the circumstances.


     


    One thing i notice about the media, whenever there is a case like these RARE instances, they get so blown out of proportion that when you find out REALITY, it is nothing more than some traveler making a big deal out of something. 


     


    The full body scans are not done on EVERYONE, they are done only in certain circumstances and it is VERY difficult thing for TSA to do in the first place to ensure safety and doing it without violating one's rights, or making someone feel like they were molested.  Yeah, it sucks, but they have to do something and while technology changes to scan for weapons and substances that are illegal, they have to deal with certain protocol, personnel, etc.


     


    I am NOT suggesting that the TSA is right in all cases, but there are RARE instances and blowing it out of proportion like this is distorting reality. As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the whole Religion idea is a scam in the first place, so if you go into a Catholic Church, as far as I am concerned, THAT'S YOUR PROBLEM.  You get what you get because your walking into a Religious Cult building.

  • Reply 17 of 45
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by IVK View Post


     


    No, they do not do any good at all. Numerous people have shown that the current security is a joke when they can get weapons past. There is zero reason for their invasive tactics, their disregard for human compassion such as destroying vital medical equipment, stealing money, arresting people who refuse the pat downs, using equipment that they lied about the radiation levels, and the legalized sexual assault against citizens. Don't want your child to be molested and voice your concerns? Off to jail you go! These aren’t isolated incidents, they happen quite frequently.


     


    This post 9/11 justification for removing our rights is the name of "national security" an abomination. Let me guess, Republican?



    How many times has someone gotten a weapon passed through security?  Maybe they needed to step it up at that location.    Molestation is when their is physical harm or sexual connotation. In the case I saw, there wasn't ANY of either.  It was just a simple pat down in FRONT of her mother and the kid was crying because she was probably too young to understand. I am sure that little girl is going to grow up unaffected by the little pat down.  It wasn't that big of a deal.


     


    Oh come on, some people take the littlest situation and try to blow it out of proportion.  How many ACTUAL legitimate cases have their been compared to how many people pass through those security checkpoints?  About 1.5 Million people go through the TSA checkpoints DAILY.  Now, I've heard that these women get all freaked out when they go through those body scanners.  First, off, the people are looking for weapons, and it shows a skeleton.   Those people don't have the time to figure out how attractive one person is over the other.  It's like going through a doctor's office and getting examined, only you are going through that body scan machine for about a minute and they are not looking at your naked body, they are looking a skeleton.  The people see thousands of people a day and their not there to get their sexual jollies out of it.  They are looking for weapons and illegal substances.


     


    If I am there, i tell the child first, that they have to go through a security check point and a stranger might take their hands and run it up and down their body to search for weapons, etc.  And i would show them first what they are going to do so they don't freak out.  That's the parents role for God's sake.  Then I would dress them appropriately, I would make sure that anything they are carrying is clean and make sure they know that if they carry a teddy bear or some doll, that it will be taken away from them temporarily so they don't freak out and make things worse.  It's all about being a RESPONSIBLE parent in the first place and letting them know is OK and what ISN'T OK.


     


    NO.  I am not a Republican   See, you already passed judgement and you make me sound like I am a Republican. I am actually not really anything from a political perspective, just what is the RIGHT thing to do, but since I am not a security expert, all I am doing is exerting some common sense and not letting the media influence my own values and sensibilities.  The media is there to get attention to sell newspapers, get people watching their TV show and to get people all paranoid and freaked out.  Some people see one thing without really taking a look into what is REALLY going on with each particular case.

  • Reply 18 of 45
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,347member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by IVK View Post


     


     


    Neo-conservatives sure love police state tactics since 9/11. It's like they fell in love with 1984 and wanted to make it a reality after 9/11.



     


    They do?... They did?


     


    I thought those who benefit the most (military contractors, Washington lobbyists and insiders, corrupt politicians, fear-mongering media) were in favor of police state tactics.


     


    Did you know the former Secretary of Homeland Security directly benefits from the so-called "naked scanners" that were pushed onto airport security? Michael Chertoff has a financial interest in a company that represents the companies that make the scanners!


     


    Incidentally, I (accidentally) got through a large 6-pack of liquids in my carry-on luggage not long after the "no liquids" nonsense went into effect. It's all bunk.

  • Reply 19 of 45
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member


    Instead of complaining about being searched and screened, you should get yourself registered as a known traveler and just walk right through. If you don't qualify then you have to stand in line and empty your pockets.


     


    There are some really shady looking people traveling on airplanes these days and they need to be searched. The thing about searching old ladies and children is just so they don't get sued for profiling. 

  • Reply 20 of 45
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by drblank View Post


    How many times has someone gotten a weapon passed through security?  Maybe they needed to step it up at that location.    Molestation is when their is physical harm or sexual connotation. In the case I saw, there wasn't ANY of either.  It was just a simple pat down in FRONT of her mother and the kid was crying because she was probably too young to understand. I am sure that little girl is going to grow up unaffected by the little pat down.  It wasn't that big of a deal.


     


    Oh come on, some people take the littlest situation and try to blow it out of proportion.  How many ACTUAL legitimate cases have their been compared to how many people pass through those security checkpoints?  About 1.5 Million people go through the TSA checkpoints DAILY.  Now, I've heard that these women get all freaked out when they go through those body scanners.  First, off, the people are looking for weapons, and it shows a skeleton.   Those people don't have the time to figure out how attractive one person is over the other.  It's like going through a doctor's office and getting examined, only you are going through that body scan machine for about a minute and they are not looking at your naked body, they are looking a skeleton.  The people see thousands of people a day and their not there to get their sexual jollies out of it.  They are looking for weapons and illegal substances.


     


    If I am there, i tell the child first, that they have to go through a security check point and a stranger might take their hands and run it up and down their body to search for weapons, etc.  And i would show them first what they are going to do so they don't freak out.  That's the parents role for God's sake.  Then I would dress them appropriately, I would make sure that anything they are carrying is clean and make sure they know that if they carry a teddy bear or some doll, that it will be taken away from them temporarily so they don't freak out and make things worse.  It's all about being a RESPONSIBLE parent in the first place and letting them know is OK and what ISN'T OK.


     


    NO.  I am not a Republican   See, you already passed judgement and you make me sound like I am a Republican. I am actually not really anything from a political perspective, just what is the RIGHT thing to do, but since I am not a security expert, all I am doing is exerting some common sense and not letting the media influence my own values and sensibilities.  The media is there to get attention to sell newspapers, get people watching their TV show and to get people all paranoid and freaked out.  Some people see one thing without really taking a look into what is REALLY going on with each particular case.



    IF anything,. the media is probably the worst offender by making such a big deal and putting the video up in the first place..   I would be more upset with the media than the TSA.

Sign In or Register to comment.