the government sourced $3.5 million worth of counterfeit Cisco routers and switches and installed them in US government computer networks
@Diane, thanks for the post. Its really scary to know that government is sourcing counterfeit equipments. Do you think its high time for US government to stop importing chinese electronic equipments most of which are counterfiet.
@DennisQI had the exact same thought! The government is notorious for overpaying for what it purchases, so it is very surprising that it opted for cheaper, counterfeit goods. Perhaps the person in charge there was allowed to use the surplus left in the budget for purchasing for something s/he wanted and so sought a way to keep costs down.
I love this blog. Well done Diane! It amazes me that with so many safeguards in place stuff like this happens all the time. I recently had a discussion wiht a security experts and I asked about social networking. It isn't as much a technology questions as it is policy and procedure. In other words, you can have a system that is supposed to ferret out counterfiets but if you have someone that is going to buy from and unautorized site all the technology int he world isnt going to help.
This was an excellent article that brought up many good points. For starters, how are we supposed to have faith in our government when they make what appear to be common sense mistakes? And they are making these mistakes with millions of taxpayers’ dollars and possibly putting the citizen’s lively hood in jeopardy by using these parts in very sensitive areas.
You are completely right that unless they attack this problem with vigilance, they are going to do nothing more than slightly disrupt the flow.
After years of reading all those stories about the government spending hundreds or thousands of dollars for things like an individual toilet seat, my first thought when I read about the bogus Cisco routers was, "wow, I'm surprised they went with a cheaper, more affordable option for once!"
But despite the fact that the routers were fairly well-done counterfeits, it's still very distressing that even the federal government fell victim to bogus product. You're right; this could have very well been an even bigger disaster than it currently is, had the seller had more nefarious motives than simply profit.
It's very unsettling to hear about the inconsistency in the government's procurement process. One would think they'd be more on top of things than your typical private enterprise, but as it turns out, that doesn't appear to be true.
Furthermore, anyone who thinks that the government can step in and instantly fix most of the counterfeit problem due to policy changes or whatever must be living in a fantasy world... the government first has to figure out how to stop being victims of counterfeits themselves!
You're right; there isn't even a standard government-wide definition of the word. And as you say, the problem will not be solved any time soon, but I totally agree with you that a healthy application of simple, common sense standards would help steer things in the right direction.
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.