Feeds

Google counterattacks MS in US.gov cloud contract row

It's MS that doesn't have security certification, says Google in court papers

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

Google has fired back at Microsoft allegations that its cloud-based service aren't fit for government.

The search giant argues that Redmond's technology has not yet met government-mandated security standards while cloud-based services from Google have, despite Redmond's suggestions otherwise.

Last week, Microsoft accused Google of misleading the market about the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) certification of its cloud-based suite Google Apps for Government. Google Apps Premier is FISMA-certified, while Google Apps for Government is not, according to Redmond.

Microsoft said it had learned of the allegedly different status of the products in court filings stemming from Google's lawsuit against Microsoft over the award of a contract to the US Department of the Interior to Redmond for a cloud-based email system. Google launched the lawsuit last October over allegations that the bidding process was biased against open competition. The DoI is looking to reduce costs while streamlining its email services by going for a cloud-based delivery model while reducing its risk of data breaches, which is where the government-mandated FISMA framework becomes relevant.

Redmond's offensive prompted Groklaw to re-examine Google's filing in the case (64-page PDF/4.5 MB here). Google's line is that the "bid process" was a stitch-up with the outcome to award the contract to Redmond decided before the tendering process even got going thanks to collusion between the DoI and Redmond.

Lawyers for the ad brokerage firm further argue it is Microsoft's cloud services for government that aren't FISMA-certified, not Google's rival services. The DoI's selection of Business Productivity Online Suite-Federal – Microsoft's rival to Google Apps for Government – therefore violated government procurement policies.1

Google further claims that DOI made its decision to go with Microsoft in 2009, essentially because it had standardised on Outlook since 2006 and Office since 2002, before Redmond's Business Productivity Online Suite-Federal had even arrived on the market.

Questioned over these allegations, Microsoft referred us back to last week's post.

The complex case remains before the court, which issued a preliminary injunction in January placing a hold on the rolling out of a new email system at the DoI until the lawsuit is adjudicated, or the restraint is lifted. Meanwhile users at the DoI are stuck with using 13 disjointed email systems that managers want to replace. ®

Bootnote

1 "Google Apps for Government is the same technology platform as Google Apps Premier Edition, not a separate system" and therefore doesn't need a separate FISMA application contrary to Microsoft's "breathless blog post," Eran Feigenbaum, director of security at Google Enterprise, argues here.

Additional reporting by Gavin Clarke

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.