Intelligence community users of the popular "uGov" domain will to get to keep the service for at least another six months while the government reviews the impact of closing the domain.
Two weeks ago, an unexpected announcement of uGov's closure provoked a quiet but persistent e-rebellion among spies, analysts and techies, who flooded the home office -- that's the Office of the Director of National Intelligence -- with complaints and set up an internal protest wiki.
In a Power Point presentation distributed by the Director of National Intelligence's chief information officer, it's promised that "no harm" will be dealt toward the various collaboration tools that rely on the uGov domain, like Intellipedia, a wikipedia for analysts.
Also, the DNI promises to conduct an "impact analysis on users other than DNI staff." What this means, in dry bureaucratese, is that the DNI acknowledges a failure to fully appreciate how central the uGov domain had become to those outside the central office, where it's been almost solely for e-mail.
According to the power point, which is not classified but marked for internal distribution only, the "Department of State uses uGov as an unclassified e-mail solution in deployed areas" -- and general usage by the Defense Department's intelligence community is "widespread." That's why "[a]n 18-month timeline has been established to complete the analysis, engineering, and migration."
The "impact review" might be window-dressing. At the very least, it gives those who support the continued existence of the uGov domain a chance to marshal their arguments.
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is a senior fellow at the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership and Policy.