[Image credit: theregistrysf.com]

[Image credit: theregistrysf.com]

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter is in Silicon Valley this week and things are going to change: The Department of Defense is remaking itself to be far more like Silicon Valley. Streamlined. Efficient. And innovative. And we can help. Well, white hat hackers can help. But that sounds like fun too.

First, the DoD has established the Defense Innovation Advisory Board, which will advise the Department of Defense from a Silicon Valley perspective, headed by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt. While it won’t work on military preparations or strategy, the Board will help the DoD think about rapid prototyping, iterative product development, complex data analysis in business decision making, the use of mobile and cloud applications, and organizational information sharing. To help make the DoD a more modern and technologically flexible organization.

The board will have 10-12 people who have run successful large public and private organizations, and so have already done well at finding and adopting new technology.

And one of the early projects, announced the same day as the board? The Department of Defense is announcing its first bug bounty program in the history of the federal government: Hack The Pentagon.

Basically, the Pentagon’s Defense Digital Service (an offshoot of the U.S. Digital Service) is inviting white hat hackers (the good guys) to hunt for vulnerabilities on their public web pages. These bounty programs are frequently held by private companies, like Twitter, to identify and fix problems before the black hats can find them. And don’t worry – only vetted hackers who have passed a background check – can participate and win the money and recognition for finding the bugs.

The Pentagon is asking Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and hackers to help it ImagineGov: a government that is more flexible, streamlined, and secure. Thanks for stepping up and getting involved.


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