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Tech

L.A. City Hall's Switch to Google Email a Mess: LAPD Balks Over Cloud Security Concerns

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Wed, Oct 19, 2011 at 8:01 AM

click to enlarge MATT MCGRATH
  • Matt McGrath
The idea that the LAPD is going to store some of its sensitive information -- perhaps background on criminals and investigations, for example -- in "the cloud" has cops balking at the level of Google's email security.

The city of L.A. decided last year to drop Novell's email service in favor of Google's otherwise free Gmail -- at a cost of as much as $2 million more than it was spending! (Yeah, only L.A. City Hall could find a way to make "free" cost you, the taxpayer, an extra $2 mil).

Anyway, that cost might be going up as the LAPD drags its feet, fearful of putting all its data eggs in the cloud's basket:

A summer letter from L.A. Chief Technology Officer Randi Levin to one of Google's tech vendors, unearthed by the nonprofit group Consumer Watchdog (PDF), acknowledges that Computer Sciences Corporation, which is implementing the transition to Google, "is unable to meet the security requirements" of the LAPD.

Consumer Watchdog says that only 17,000 of 30,000 city employees have been transitioned to Google so far.

In a letter to L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Consumer Watchdog president Jamie Court and its privacy project director, John M. Simpson, write:

While the City has kept Google's breaches of its contract quiet, the Internet giant has held Los Angeles out as a model for securing municipal, state and governmental agencies based on the false promise that it could satisfy the needs of the second largest city in America. On its website promoting Google Apps, it actually lists the failed Los Angeles effort as a success.

Google's record with the city is nothing but broken promises and missed deadlines ...

Read more here.

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