DSS lifts planned ban on .edu access

The Defense Security Service has reversed its decision to cut off .edu domain users’ access to applications on the Defense Information System for Security Web site.

DSS announced the restriction earlier this week.

In an e-mail to Federal Computer Week, DSS spokesperson Cindy McGovern said the organization's Information Assurance division had reviewed the planned restriction and determined that it would cause a significant disruption and would not provide greater security.

She said the decision was strictly an internal one and not a result of any protests or queries from .edu domain users.

The ban, originally set to begin May 31, had been pushed back to June 30, according to a posting earlier this week on the DSS Web site.

“We are always caught in a balancing act between properly securing information and satisfying our users’ need for access to the information," she said.

As originally proposed, .mil, .gov and .com users would continue to have access to on the site, while net and .org users would face tighter controls. Only .edu users would have been banned entirely.

The site's applications include the Joint Personnel Adjudication System (JPAS), the Industrial Security Facilities Database (ISFD) and the Defense Central Index of Investigations (DCII).

McGovern had said security concerns were behind the decision to bar .edu domain users from the site, calling it part of a “layered security strategy” that would make it harder for people to access the JPAS database of cleared personnel and the ISFD list of cleared companies.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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