Gallente Senate Approves Major Defense Spending Bill
Villore - Emotions ran high today as the Gallente Senate debated a bill which would have major implications for the Federation's defense communications network. At issue was the bill's plan to undertake a massive upgrade of the physical infrastructure, encryption protocols, and anti-tamper safeguards underpinning all secure defense-related communications.
The plan is the result of a recent study undertaken by the Federal Intelligence Office's Special Department of Internal Investigations to assess communications vulnerabilities that might compromise Gallentean national security. Though the details of the report remain classified, the military's comm-network was identified as containing a number of such potential weak spots.
But opposition to the bill was strident largely due to its contract awards plan; the funds are to be spent on a handful of corporations pre-approved in the FIO study, with Allied SecureComm acting as the prime contractor. While such no-bid contracts are somewhat common in government spending, the scope of the work in this proposal drew objections. "Allied SecureComm is getting this job only because they're based in Blaque's home district," said Julian Hevard, a journeyman Senator from one of Everyshore's more populous districts. "This is largesse politics, plain and simple. Has anyone else noticed that it was an FIO study that put this plan into motion?"
Supporters of the plan rallied to its defense, however. Senator Faron Shu, chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee that brought the bill before the Senate, said, "Without going into classified details, I assure you that the need for these upgrades is necessary and vital."
When asked whether he believed Caldari forces could have exploited these vulnerabilities during their recent seizure of a number of Gallente frontier systems, Senator Shu declined to comment.
Though debate was heated, in the final vote the measure passed by a comfortable margin.