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New defense budget calls for use of DRM

January 10, 2012

Most people think of digital rights management as a means for publishers to protect their content. However, the technology will soon allow the U.S. Department of Defense to protect its own sensitive information.

The U.S. defense budget that was passed in December calls for the Pentagon to leverage DRM to place greater restrictions on confidential data and documents. Specifically, the move is designed to prevent leaks of information, such as what occurred during the WikiLeaks incident in late 2010.

An Army private illegally downloaded and leaked thousands of diplomatic cables that thoroughly embarrassed the country on an international level. With more use of DRM, the DOD is aiming to avoid suffering similar situations in the future.

Furthermore, all Pentagon systems will now be required to connect to a central location where activity and events can be monitored for anything suspicious.

The government has also recently focused on protecting the information of private-sector businesses. With the Stop Online Piracy Act, Congress has demonstrated that it intends to safeguard the intellectual property produced by American organizations.