Feeds

Google counterattacks MS in US.gov cloud contract row

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

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Microsoft adds video offering to Office 365. Oh NOES, you'll need Adobe Flash
Lovely presentations... but not on your Flash-hating mobe
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
HTML5 vs native: Harry Coder and the mudblood mobile app princes
Developers just want their ideas to generate money
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
The total economic impact of Druva inSync
Examining the ROI enterprises may realize by implementing inSync, as they look to improve backup and recovery of endpoint data in a cost-effective manner.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.