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HOMELAND SECURITY

03 Apr 07. A British computer expert accused by Washington of the “biggest military hack of all time” lost an appeal on Tuesday against plans to extradite him to the United States to stand trial. Gary McKinnon was arrested in 2002 following charges by U.S. prosecutors that he illegally accessed 97 government computers — including Pentagon, U.S. army, navy and NASA systems — causing $700,000 worth of damage. Two of Britain’s leading judges rejected a High Court challenge by McKinnon to an earlier court order backed by Britain’s Home Secretary that he should be extradited. “We do not find any grounds of appeal against the decision,” said one of the judges, Lord Justice Maurice Kay. (Source: Reuters)

30 Mar 07. AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc. and Qwest Communications International Inc. were named by the government as the competitors for a giant federal telecommunications contract, worth a total of nearly $20bn over the next decade. Sprint Nextel Corp., until now a major supplier of telecommunications services to the federal government, was left off the list, a setback for the company whose list of woes is growing. The News: AT&T, Verizon and Qwest Communications were named as winners to bid on contracts for the massive upgrade of the federal government’s voice, video and data services and technologies. Potential Value: The government is expected to spend at least $20bn on the upgrades over 10 years for 135 out of 184 federal agencies. Spending is capped at $48bn. Winner: As the smallest one in the pool, Qwest has a chance to raise its profile among corporate clients. Loser: Sprint, now off the list, had been providing telecom services to the U.S. government for almost 20 years. (Source: WSJ)

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