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."
This Digital Communities white paper highlights discussions with IT officials in four counties that have adopted shared services models. Our aim was to learn about the obstacles these governments have faced when it comes to shared services and what it takes to overcome those roadblocks. We also spoke with several members of the IT industry who have thought long and hard about these issues. The paper offers some best practices for shared government-to-government services, but also points out challenges that government and industry still must overcome before this model gains widespread adoption.