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US TSA eyeing Macs, iOS devices to assist mission

Steve Sande, @stevensande
May 25, 2012
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America's favorite frisking and body scanning team -- the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) -- is about to go Apple. NextGov is reporting that the TSA has put out a request to possibly purchase any number of Apple products to "support specific areas of TSA's Risk Based Counter-Terrorism mission."

TSA's Office of Acquisitions is planning to enter into several contracts over the next three years to buy Apple products and services with a maximum value of US$3 million. They're not just looking at Macs and iPads; according to a TSA document (PDF), "The proposed procurements may include any products currently within or added to the Apple line of products to include but not limited to: Apple computers/laptops, Apple iPads, Apple iPhones, Apple iPods, Apple TV, Apple OS (sic), Apple App Store applications, Apple peripherals and accessories such as monitors, mice and keyboards, and such services as installation, software updates, extended warranty and repairs, including AppleCare, required to support the Apple product line in an enterprise/production environment."

The document goes on to describe why TSA is looking to sole-source the Apple line, stating that it "requires the hardware, software and licenses to support a greater diversity of devices and operating systems as we follow the public driven demand for more mobility." TSA states that they'll be issuing a separate document for "Google Android" hardware, software and services to cover another "TSA capability gap."

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