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NATO seeks Second Life tenders

Tateru Nino

The NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization) Supreme Headquarters Allied Command Transformation is presently seeking tenders for the construction of a proof-of-concept site in a virtual environment. "The first scenario is to replicate a generic headquarters compound for a NATO operation. ... The second scenario will involve replicating the Headquarters Supreme Allied Command Transformation in Norfolk, USA. The only acceptable worlds that may provide a solution to this statement of work are Second Life by Linden Labs[sic], OLIVE by Forterra, or NEXUS by ECS."

Actually, this part's a little confusing, because of the three virtual environments specified as 'acceptable', only one (Forterra's OLIVE) actually meets the minimum criteria given in the solicitation. NATO SHQACT acknowledges this in a subsequent clarification document, but is still seeking Second Life submissions anyway. As it stands, it doesn't seem like any existing Second Life developer can actually meet the stringent Defense Contract requirements in any case, and submissions close on the 8th of this month.

It's a curious situation, overall, and leaves us scratching our heads. SHQACT insists that it wants Second Life tenders, yet Second Life does not meet the minimum technical requirements, specifically:

  • must run fully behind or through firewalls using a single open port of choice

  • should be able to run SSL encryption if desired for increased security

Still, according to article VIII of the Paris Protocol (1952), all the goods and services are tax and duty free, and that's got to be an attractive notion. We don't see any platform winning this one other than OLIVE though.

Are you a part of the most widely-known collaborative virtual environment or keeping a close eye on it? Massively's Second Life coverage keeps you in the loop.

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