Letter: It makes sense to ban use of private PCs for government work
- By John Stein Monroe
- Sep 14, 2007
Having worked with computer repair on the outside (and some on the inside) I tend to agree somewhat with the title of this piece.
Governmental computers (at least at my facility) are so locked down that it takes longer to do your work, assuming you can access the resources or perform the computing task required. The up side of this self-inflicted virus/Trojan activity is that the bad guys have a much harder time presenting and installing rogue software to monitor and steal our information. This is in 99.9% of time not true for a personal computer at home.
The down side of using the "authorized" systems is that much of our technical data is moving overseas, most notably to the Asian arena, and that area is blocked to us. So in order to get data needed (can't keep tech books, the inspectors call it unauthorized non-tech order material) I have had to go home, download and copy the pertinent material, and transfer it back to my work area.
Overall, I suppose taking a hit on performance is preferable to having all our information compromised by an accidental Trojan that runs rampant throughout our networks, but as many people faced with diminishing deadline times and slowing resources would say, "What has to give?". Later on in the article there is talk of the slowing pace of laptops replacing the desktop, I personally prefer the desktop for most of my work. The only time I want a laptop is when I am traveling because it is much harder to use. And I see no reason to have to take a laptop home to do work.
John Monroe is Senior Events Editor for the 1105 Public Sector Media Group, where he is responsible for overseeing the development of content for print and online content, as well as events. John has more than 20 years of experience covering the information technology field. Most recently he served as Editor-in-Chief of Federal Computer Week. Previously, he served as editor of three sister publications: civic.com, which covered the state and local government IT market, Government Health IT, and Defense Systems.