DARPA seeks small business help to develop a secure messaging platform
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) recently posted a request for proposals on DoD’s Small Business Innovation Research website for a secure messaging platform.
OBJECTIVE: Create a secure messaging and transaction platform that separates the message creation, from the transfer (transport) and reception of the message using a decentralized messaging backbone to allow anyone anywhere the ability to send a secure message or conduct other transactions across multiple channels traceable in a decentralized ledger.
DESCRIPTION: There is a critical DoD need to develop a secure messaging and transaction platform accessible via web browser or standalone native application. The platform separates the message creation, from the transfer of the message within a secure courier to the reception and decryption of the message.
Legacy messaging and backoffice infrastructures, traditionally based on centralized, unencrypted hub-and spoke database architecture, are expensive, inefficient, brittle and subject to cyber attack. The overhead costs of maintaining such architectures is rising rapidly. Many organizations unknowingly keep duplicate information and fail to ensure synchronization thus amplifying the potential for data theft and data corruption/rot. Incorporating a truly transparent mechanism for conducting journaled transactions enables the DoD to leverage its distributed footprint for a reduction in latency of these transactions, their security and their integrity and assurance.
The messaging platform will transfer messages via a secure decentralized protocol that will be secured across multiple channels, including but not limited to: 1) Transport protocol, 2) Encryption of messages via various application protocols, 3) Customized blockchain implementation of message deconstruction and reconstruction, and decentralized ledger implementation. With this messaging platform the business logic of the DoD ecosystem would be mapped onto a network of known entities using distributed ledgers. By doing this significant portions of the DoD backoffice infrastructure can be decentralized, ‘smart documents and contracts’ can be instantly and securely sent and received thereby reducing exposure to hackers and reducing needless delays in DoD backoffice correspondance. As an example, Military Interdepartmental Purchase Requests (MIPR) could be implmented using the secure ledger. Regulators with access to the ledger could read the correspondance and thus easily verify that a MIPR transaction didn’t violate Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR).
The messaging platform would act as the transport for a cyptographically sound record of all transactions whether they be MIPRs, contracts, troop movements or intelligence. Troops on the ground in denied communications environments would have a way to securely communicate back to HQ and DoD back office executives could rest assured that their logistics system is efficient, timely and safe from hackers. The benefits are broad and could even be applied to domains such as space. With crowded skies it’s important to maintain situational awareness of all satellites and those concerned with space situational awareness/telemetry or air traffic control could instantly share data between nations using a separate but equivalent ledger implementation thus removing questions as to the authenticity and integrity of the data.
Full information is available here.