(WASHINGTON) — A new report from the Justice Department’s Inspector General finds that the Department of Justice has spent $350 million on developing an integrated wireless network that has, “yet to achieve the results intended,” and that after 10 years of trying, “its success is doubtful.”
The assessment comes a decade after the 9/11 tragedy highlighted a lack of coordination and effective communication between law enforcement and first responders, and spurred a commitment to fix the problem. But according to the Justice Department audit, serious communications problems still plague the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration and other federal law enforcement agencies.
For example, the audit found that the Justice Department’s law enforcement components are still using old and obsolete equipment. The audit further determined that many of the Department’s radios do not meet some or all of the intended requirements, including limited interoperability between the Department’s components and other law enforcement agencies. The Justice Department’s wireless equipment is not even synched up with the Department of Homeland Security’s network. Moreover, the continued use of “legacy,” or outdated, equipment does not meet security encryption requirements, and leaves communication channels open to the threat of being hacked.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Lisa Respers France and Brian Stelter, CNN
Christine Brennan, Tim Hume and Jill Martin, CNN
Emanuella Grinberg, CNN
Jethro Mullen and K.J. Kwon, CNN