Re: Clearances (was Outsourcing)

Subject: Re: Clearances (was Outsourcing)
From: Martin Bosworth <martinhbosworth -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 1 Jun 2005 14:15:32 -0400

> Yes it's broken. It's even worse because government purchases large
> amounts of commercial off-the-shelf software. While the software comes
> from US-based vendors, it is developed wholly or partially overseas. I
> can't believe someone at the Pentagon isn't worried about that. If the
> evil doers ever infiltrate those outsource locations, we're really
> screwed.


Boy, you nailed it there.

One of the reasons why government has such a bad reputation for
efficiency is the ass-backwards way they do things. Consider: Every
application used on a government machine has to pass endless security
tests and trials before it gets put on there. Yet, because the U.S.
Government has such a cushy relationship with Microsoft, end-users
can't "officially" use any alternative technologies as they are not

Meanwhile, the people who actually create the back-end code that runs
almost every application on your desktop are NOT living in Silicon
Valley. And I can assure you that they don't get nearly as heavy an
investigation as the users on this end. Half the time, contracting
departments don't even investigate the makers of the software we
use...just whether or not it works, and how cheap it is.

I consider it an accomplishment that the Telemedicine team over here
is using Mozilla Firefox for most of their daily work, but they're
generally ahead of the curve and smarter about technology than the
average. I have to do "work-arounds" to get any kind of software or
app I need to do my job, because the process to request, say,
RoboHelp, literally takes weeks.

It kills me to think that we're being forced to sacrifice our personal
freedoms in the name of "security", while the same government that
demands this blithely lets the equipment we need to do our jobs be
outsourced to countries that may or may not have our best interests at

But that's another rant.


Martin H. Bosworth
Technical Writer, Telemedicine Directorate
Walter Reed Army Medical Center (
Writer/Editor, (


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RE: Clearances (was Outsourcing): From: Cliver, Barry

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