LA Times reported over the weekend that Google had missed its deadline for implementing a the city's new email system, in part because it had not fully responded to some of the LA Police Department's security concerns.The
But Google announced this morning that it was introducing a new edition of Google Apps, Google Apps for Government, an indication that Google is still committed to making inroads into enterprise, schools, and now government.
Google Apps boasts Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) certification from the U.S. Government - the first suite of cloud computing applications to receive it. The FISMA law applies to all systems utilized by federal government agencies, and Google's accreditation means that the federal government has reviewed Google's security controls. "This review," says Google in the blog post announcing the Apps for Government edition, "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 stores Gmail and Calendar data in a separate storage system housed state-side, one designed exclusively for Google's government contractors. Google Apps for Government is available to any federal, state or local government in the U.S., and according to Google "should give governments an even stronger case for making the move to the cloud."
Whether or not it's a strong enough case for the Los Angeles Police Department, and other skeptics, remains to be seen.