August 2, 2009 By Wayne Hanson
Confidential documents -- such as presidential motorcade routes -- have appeared on the Internet recently as the result of peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing software installed on federal computers. In response, Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-NY) says he will propose legislation to ban P2P software on government and contractor computers, blaming software manufacturers rather than users for lack of security. A 2004 OMB memorandum to CIOs on P2P seems focused on misuse of such technology, citing sharing of copyrighted music or pornography. The memo concludes, saying: "OMB recognizes there are appropriate uses of file sharing technologies, but as with all technology it must be appropriately managed."
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.