GSA Testifies Against Google in 'Apps for Government,' FISMA Hearing
April 14, 2011 11:03 PM
David McClure of the GSA
Both the Department of Justice and General Services Administration have agreed with Microsoft's accusation that Google is lying about having FISMA certified government software
Earlier this week,
Microsoft called Google a liar
because the search engine giant told the government that its software suite for government employees was FISMA certified. Now, Google is doing what it can to convince the Department of Justice that it is certified, but it isn't looking good.
conflict between Microsoft and Google
stems back to an incident where Microsoft had been selected to create a cloud-based e-mail system for the Department of Interior, and Google sued the government saying that it favored Microsoft.
Now, Google has developed software for government employees called
Google Apps for Government
. Some government software requires certification under the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), which is certified by the General Services Administration (GSA). Microsoft called Google a liar when it claimed to have certified the Google Apps for Government suite, and as it turns out, Microsoft was right. Last week, documents of the legal proceedings were released, and the Department of Justice confirmed that Google, in fact, did not have FISMA certification on the software. Instead, it certified a different software suite called Google Apps Premier.
Google disagreed with the Department of Justice, saying that its Apps for Government is a subset of Apps Premier, hence the company thought that Apps for Government was taken care of through that same certification.
GSA did not seem to believe Google
, though. A hearing earlier this week confirmed the GSA's testimony when U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) interviewed David McClure from the GSA.
"Sure, I'd be glad to bring some clarity to it," said McClure. "In July 2010, GSA did a FISMA security accreditation for 'Google Apps Premier.' That's what the Google product was called, and it passed our FISMA accreditation process. We actually did that so other agencies could use the Google product. If we do one accreditation, it's leveraged across many agencies. Since that time, Google has introduced what they're calling 'Google Apps for Government.' It's a subset of Google Apps Premier, and as soon as we found out about that, as with all other agencies, we have what you would normally do when a product changes, you re-certify it. So that's what we're doing right now, we're actually going through a re-certification based on those changes that Google has announced with the 'Apps for Government' product offering."
Despite the Department of Justice and the GSA's lack of support for Google's claims, Carper will continue to follow-up with GSA offices regarding the matter until it is resolved.
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