Microsoft: Google lying to Government

If only they could get along. Today, a top Microsoft lawyer lashed out at Google over newly unsealed documents from a court case between the two companies. The court case was filed by Google against the United States government for unfairly favoring Microsoft in regards to their email solution choice.

According to NetworkWorld, Microsoft has lashed out due to the fact that Google appears to claim it has FISMA (Federal Information Security Mangement Act) certification, when it actually doesn't have the certification at all for its government Google Apps offerings. David Howard, Corporate Vice President & Deputy General Counsel for Microsoft said on his blog today that "FISMA certification amounts to something" and goes on to explain that "The Act creates a process for federal agencies to accredit and certify the security of information management systems like e-mail, so FISMA-certification suggests that a particular solution has proven that it has met an adequate level of security for a specific need."

Microsoft says that Google has been lying to the government, and the news came as a surprise to not only them, but to the Department of Justice too. Apparently, Google Apps Premier does have this certification already, but the Government version of Google Apps doesn't, yet Google continues to advertise it having it on their site (they still haven't bothered to take it down as of writing). Google is currently going through the motions of getting approval, apparently, and according to the Department of Justice, "Google intends to offer Google Apps for Government as a more restrictive version of its product and Google is currently in the process of finishing its application for FISMA certification for its Google Apps for Government."

David Howard claims that Google has not answered enquiries over the last year for information about their FISMA certification, but says it is no mistake as the company had filed for a second FISMA certification recently. On top of this, Neowin uncovered Google actually stating it had the certification in a blogpost on the Official Google blog in August 2010.

Google Apps for Government is a tightly controlled version of it's "Premier" apps solution, which is "more secure" than traditional Google apps, which apparently was developed to meet FISMA certification. Google does not go into details on what they were required to change, but does say it had to change many back-end security features and protocols.

Google is yet to reply to the claims in the case, but its likely we'll be hearing much more in the near future.

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