Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Who own's Minnesota's e-mail, Microsoft or you.?

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported that the State of Minnesota has signed an agreement with Microsoft to be the storage hub for its e-mail, instant messaging, among other kinds of services.  The service is called "clouding", or in other words a third party serving as a repository for the state's email, etc. with some added attractions.

The press release by the Minnesota Office of Technology praises the agreement with lowering costs and improved security.  How is my e-mail to the Governor or someone else in the government going to be more secure?  Who owns the information now that it is in the hands of a third party?  Where is the location of the data? The old motto of I keep and control the stuff then I know it is safe, secure, and accessible may no  longer apply with aspects of our states data.

Will this improve my ability to get quick and easy access to public government records next time I want to find out what a State Commissioner or a Governor is doing on an issue, or how a policy was developed? Or is this one more barrier for the citizen?

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