The mystery strategy

The Bush administration's future approach to e-government is a little unclear these days. Months after officials said it would be ready, the Office of Management and Budget's annual E-Government Strategy report has yet to be released.

The report for 2003, which detailed the achievements of the previous year, the challenges ahead and the strategy for addressing those obstacles, was released in April 2003, but this year's product has yet to see the light of day.

Several months ago, OMB officials vaguely suggested spring as the season for release. Then the date was pushed back to late May, after the Management of Change conference in Philadelphia where the CIO Council was meeting, so that any ideas and contributions reaped from the conference could be included. More than a month later, however, there still is no report.

When we checked in last week, we were told that OMB officials are still working on it.

And the wait continues.

Live by the Web...

The presidential election has certainly become a high-tech event. Both candidates have been using savvy online strategies, and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.)has generated millions of dollars online.

The importance of the Web was demonstrated again last week when Kerry announced his vice presidential selection online. The Reuters Group news service trumpeted it as "the first time a candidate used the Internet for such a crucial announcement."

Campaign officials said that about 150,000 people had signed up for the campaign's e-mail notices since Kerry told reporters that was how the announcement would be made.

Yet those who live by the Web can get caught in the Web. Soon after the announcement, the Kerry campaign found that many of the Web sites for the new ticket were already taken. The Washington Post reported that Indianapolis native Kerry Edwards has owned that domain name for six years.

Many of the other possible names also were gone, such as,, KerryEdwards2004. com, and

DHS smoke detectors

Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) compared wireless network insecurities discovered within the Homeland Security Department to fire officials failing to install smoke detectors in the firehouse.

Reacting to a DHS inspector general's report, Lieberman said in a statement released by his office last week that the IG findings reveal "a troubling lack of diligence" by DHS officials. By failing to protect internal wireless networks, DHS officials have exposed sensitive information to unauthorized access and left the networks vulnerable to attack, said Lieberman, ranking member of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee.

In the report issued June 30, the IG recommended that DHS officials improve operations in the department's Wireless Management Office, which was set up to oversee the use of wireless technologies. The IG also advised DHS officials to improve internal wireless policies and procedures and to certify and accredit their wireless systems as required by law.

The IG found that a growing number of DHS employees use wireless laptop computers and wireless messaging devices on networks with signals that leak from secure facilities at DHS into adjacent parking lots, public roads and residences.

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