Groklaw – The Google Microsoft Fight About FISMA Certification

If you were as puzzled as I was by the blog fight, as Geekwire calls it, between Google and Microsoft over whether or not Google was FISMA certified, then you will be glad to know I gathered up some of the documents from the case, Google et al v. USA, and they cause the mists to clear. I’ll show you what I found, but here’s the funny part — it turns out it’s Microsoft whose cloud services for government aren’t FISMA certified. And yet, the Department of the Interior chose Microsoft for its email and messaging cloud solution, instead of Google’s offering even though Google today explains that in actually its offering actually is. It calls Microsoft’s FUD "irresponsible".

The case is being heard in the United States Court of Federal Claims. Google filed what is called a bid protest. The context is that the Department of the Interior wished to procure a cloud solution to unify and streamline its email and other messaging systems "while simultaneously reducing its risk of data security breaches".

That’s the amazing part. If it wanted to reduce the risk of data security breaches, why would it choose Microsoft?

Google has accused Microsoft and the Department of the Interior of colluding to give Microsoft the contract, even though Google was walked through the paces of applying and strung along to believe it actually was being considered. The accusation is that it was all a pretense, that the decision to go with Microsoft was made long before anyone else made a bid and that the Department of the Interior folks carefully crafted its list of requirements so that no one but Microsoft *could* qualify.

What does that have to do with FISMA certification? Because, since it turns out Microsoft’s offering was not FISMA certified when it was chosen, and still isn’t, and Google says its competing email solution was, it’s claiming the choice violates procurement policies. I’ll show you the document where I found that detail that explains it all. I don’t know who is right, by the way, for sure in this dispute, although I think you’ll be able to discern which direction the truth-o-meter seems to be pointing to, so at this point I’m just explaining what I found, so you can at least know what it’s all been about.

via Groklaw – The Google Microsoft Fight About FISMA Certification. This is a fun story.