Google has introduced a new Government Edition of Google Apps. It includes all of the features of other Google Apps editions, but adds policy and security features. Google says it was designed with guidance from the federal government, as well as the Cities of Los Angeles and Orlando.
Google Apps for Government stores Gmail and Calendar data in a segregated system located in the continental United States, exclusively for government customers.
The company also announced that Google Apps is the first cloud app suite to receive Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) certification and accreditation from the U.S. government. Kripa Krishnan, Technical Program Manager on Google Apps for Government explains:
The FISMA law applies to all information systems in use by U.S. federal government agencies to help ensure they’re secure. The federal government’s General Services Administration has reviewed the documentation of our security controls and issued an authorization to operate, the official confirmation of our FISMA certification and accreditation. This review makes it easier for federal agencies to compare our security features to those of their existing systems; most agencies we have worked with have found that Google Apps provides at least equivalent, if not better, security than they have today. This means government customers can move to the cloud with confidence.
Google Apps for Government is available for any federal, state or local government in the United States.
I wonder if Google recognizes the irony of the announcement in the wake of one of the biggest government data leaks in the country’s history.