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A BriefHistoryof

In 1813, a year before the British burned the buildings of the nation's
capital in ".Mr. Madison's War," Congress made provision for the protec-
tion of state documents. In what may be considered the beginning of fed-
eral information policy, it was mandated that one copy of the House and
Senate journals along with certain other legislative documents be made
available by the secretary of state to selected universities, state libraries,
and historical societies. By the 1840s, the Depository Library program
was promoting the practice of agencies making their publications avail-
able to the public. The Printing Act of 1852 established the office of the
Superintendent of Public Printing under the Secretary of the Interior,
who in 1857, became responsible for distribution to depository libraries.
On the day Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated, the Government Printing
Office (GPO) was established, displacing the private printing companies
serving the government at that time. The Office of the Superintendent of
Documents was created in 1869, and under the Printing Act of 1895 the
Depository Library program was taken over by the GPO and the Monthly
Catalog of GPO publications was launched. There is a direct line of
development of federal information policy from the wartime concerns of
1813 to the launch of electronic publication formats in the 1990s, but by
then the scope of governmental publications had grown exponentially
and all agencies, not just the GPO, had become outlets for federal infor-
mation, often via the Internet.
The first depository library shipment under the 1895 act was sent out to
420 libraries on July 17, 1895. It contained only 11 publications of Con-
gress. By 1922, however, depository libraries were receiving so many pub-
lications that they complained'about lack of space and staff, particularly
in view of relative lack of use of government documents. The GPO ended
the practice of sending every library every publication and instead devel-
oped the Classified List of United States Government Publications, allow-
ing libraries to select desired holdings. Only 48 of the 418 depository
libraries existing in 1923 opted to continue to receive all publications.
Still, by 1945, the GPO was doing eight mailings a day per library.
Libraries were overwhelmed, complaining about being unable to main-
tain comprehensive records, to ensure documents were actually shelved,
and to cope with the perishable stock paper on which documents were
printed. Eventually, under the Depository Library Act of 1962, libraries
were relieved of the obligation to retain forever documents they had
agreed to receive; instead, 53 regional depositories were named to receive
all government publications, but even they could dispose of documents
after 5 years (McGarr, 2000).
During the 1980s and 1990s, governmental efforts to reduce paperwork
combined with sharp cutbacks in funding for printing meant a notice-
able decline in the number of federal publications in print. Information
dissemination on microfiche, which the GPO had seen as a solution to
the information explosion, now became viewed as outdated technology
as libraries, universities, and the media retooled for the computer age.
Many government publications became issued only in electronic format,
abandoning print altogether. As this occurred, the GPO, which for over
100 years had been the dominant agency for information dissemination
by the federal government, now became one among a larger number of
players in the arena of federal information policy. The National
Technical Information Service, the National Archives, the Smithsonian
Institution. the office of the president, and of course the agencies them-
selves all have become major direct providers of federal information in
electronic format. In 2004 the GPO, having already cut its consumption
of paper in half in the 1992-2003 period and mounted over a quarter
million free digital documents by 2004, drew up a 3-year plan to trans-
form itself from a printing office to a manager of digital documents
(Menke, 2004a).
The fedtlral Depository Library program and the GPO were pioneers
establishing the principle of information access for all Americans. At the
dawn of this new century, however, information access has come to tran-
scend thtl concept of document dissemination. Moreover, since the
1970s. new information policy issues have come to the fore as well, in-
cluding the government's role in developing the infrastructure for infor-
mation and communications technologies (leT); leveraging information
technology (IT) to promote public-sector productivity and to reinvent
the way government does business; information security, particularly
after the terrorist attack of September 11,2001; and any number of reg-
ulatory issues arising from the coming of age of cyberspace.
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War and Cold War: Origins of Information Technology Infrastructure in the United States
In Chapter 1 we discussed the vision of the digital future foreseen by
Vannevar Bush, who directed the Office of Scientific RQsearch and
Development for Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It was no accident that
Bush had overseen the effort to mobilize scientist5 in support of military
objectives in World War II, and that he was also in the be5t p05ition to
see and understand the potential of new electronic technologies for the
future. The origins of widespread use of IT and, indeed, of the Internet
itself. were inextricably linked to military uses.
The first programmable computer in the world was the Colossus, cre:lWd
in 1943 and in service until 1946 as a code-breaking maching built for
the British war effort by Max Newman and others (Cragon, 2003; Hinsley
& Stripp, 2001). There had been other earlier computers, such as Bell
Lab's Z3 computer based on electromagnetic relays, but ColoSSU!l was
the first digital all-electronic programmable machine, based on vacuum
tube technology. It was designed and used successfully to break German
military codes, which were based on teletype-like electromechanical
devices built by Siemens. By the end of the war, 10 Colossus computers
were in operation.
Because of the secrecy associated with the development and use of the
Colossus computer, its influence on postwar IT was limited. A greater
role can be ascribed to the ENlAC computer. dovoloped between 1942
and 1946 by J. Presper Eckert and John W. Mauchly at the Univomity of
Pennsylvania for the U.S. Army, which employed it for ballistic calcula-
tions. ENIAC, which stood for Electronic Numerical Integrator And Com-
puter, was a gigantic machine using more than 18,000 vacuum tubes and
weighing some 30 tons.
Eckert and Mauchly went on to develop a successor computer, the
UNIVAC 1 (Universal Automatic Computer 1), constructing it under the
auspices oftheir own company. The UNIVAC 1 used 13,000 fgwer V:lC-
uum tubes than the ENIAC. reducing the size of the computer by over
two-thirds but still weighing eight tons! Eckert and Mauchly sold their
technology to Remington Rand in 1950, and in 1951 Remington Rnnd
sold the first UNIVAC computer to the Census Bureau, making it thg first
commercially available computer. It was also the first alphanumeric
computer, capable of handling text for government and business. The
U.S. Navy and the Atomic Energy Commission bought the second and
third UNIVACs. The first private sector purchaser was General Electric,
which bought the eighth UNIVAC 3 years later in 1954, UNIVACS were
phased out, however, in the mid 1950s.
The advent of widespread mainframe computing in the federal govern-
ment was associated with IBM's 701 computer, which was sold starting
in 1952-1953 for defense purposes during the Korean War. IBM. in an
alliance with Harvard University, had developed the Mark 1 computer
in 1944. but it had been a relay computer. relying on decimal storage
wheels and rotary dial switches. IBM chief Thomas Johnson Watson had
the 701 developed specifically for the Korean War effort. as a "defense
calculator." Early 701s were sold to the U.S. Navy, the Department of
Defense, aircraft companies, atomic research laboratories, and other gov-
ernment agencies.
A new level of computer use in government was achieved by the IBM
7090, introduced in 1950 as the first commercial transistorized com-
puter and the world's fastest. With the 7090 and its upgrades, IBM dom-
inated the mainframe world of computing in the 1960s and 1970s. Then,
in the face of competition by Apple Computer's revolutionary desktop
microcomputer, IBM introduced the IBM PC in 1981. Intended as a per-
sonal computer for use in the home and not competitive with IBM's
mainframe computers for business, the PC soon came into general gov-
ernmental and business use, eventually ending the stand-alone main-
framg architecture for IT,
In 1957 as IBM's 701 computers were coming into widespread use in the
federal govgrnment, the Soviet Union launched the world's first artificial
satellite, Sputnik-I. In direct response, that same year the federal govern-
ment established the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) within
the Department of Defense to promote defense technology. Over the next
12 years, major governmental initiatives reconstructed telecommunica-
tions infrastructure and created the predecessor of the modern Internet.
Some of these initiatives were specifically military. Semi-Automatic
Ground Environment and the related Whirlwind project (1958), for
instanGe. represented major advances in data communications technology
and were used in the service of air defense. In 1960, President Eisenhower
placed the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in
charge of communications satellite development. Echo, NASA's first satel-
lite, was launched August 12 and functioned to reflect radio waves back
to earth. ;rhe Communications Act of 1962 combined the efforts of AT&T,
NASA, and the Department of Defense to create Comsat on February 1,
1963. In 1964, led by Comsat, a consortium of 19 nations formed IntelSat
with the purpose of providing global satellite coverage and interconnec-
tivity. IntelSat in 1965 launched the Early Bird satellite, the world's first
commercial communications satellite, serving the Atlantic Ocean Region.
Global satellite coverage was achieved by IntelSat 7 years later, in 1969.
In an effort that predated the modern Internet by decades. in 1965 ARPA
sponsored a study of the "cooperative network of time-sharing comput-
ers." Tho!
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Establishing the Architeaure of Federal Information Policy, 1946-1980 33
ers." The Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Lincoln Lab and the
System Development Corporation in Santa Monica, California, were
directly linked via a dedicated 1200 bps phone line. Finally, in 1969
ARPAnet, the predecessor of the Internet, went online with four nodes.
It reached 15 nodes by 1971, had e-mail in 1972, and international con-
nections in 1973, the year in which Bob Kahn started the "internetting"
research program at ARPA, working with others to develop many of the
fundamental concepts on which the Internet rests. ARPAnet initiated
online discussion lists in 1975 and suffered its first viruses in 1980 (an
accidental status message virus). ARPAnet was not phllsed out until
1990, having performed its function as the test bed of thg Interngt.
Although not directed specifically toward IT, thg postwar pgriocl saw tbg
emergence of several pillars of federal information policy.
The Administrative Procedures Act of 1946. The earligst of thgse criti-
cal pieces of legislation was the Administrative Procedures Act of 1945
(APA), which required agencies responsible for proposing new rules and
regulations to publish them in the Federal Register, which developed an
electronic version in 1993. More significantly, the APA required hellf-
ings and public participation in regulatory rule making. In the late 1990s
the APA became a legal basis for elgctronic public participation in e
The Federal Records Act of 1950. Four years later, the Foderal Recordg
Act of 1950 (FRA, amended 1964). mandated agencies to preserve "ade-
quate and proper documentation of the organization, functions, polioies,
decisions, procedures, and essential tnm5actiontl of the agency."
Combined with the 1966 Freedom of Information Act and thg 1996
Electronic Freedom of Information Act, the FRA became the legal basis
for the mandate that federal agencies make information available online.
The Freedom of Information Act of 1966. This act, known as FOIA.
established the right of public access to government informfltion.
Agencies were required to make information available automatically at
their own initiative or in response to individual f(lqUgsts. FOIA speci-
fied certain exemptions. including classified defense and foreign policy
matters, internal agency personnel rules and practices. information pro-
tected by other laws (e,g., many contractor bids), commercial trado
secrets and financial information. documents normally privileged in thg
civil discovery context, personal information affecting an individual's
privacy, investigatory records compiled for law enforcement purposes,
information that might reasonably be construed to interfere with law
enforcementordepriveapersonofafair trial, informationrevealingthe
ofindividuals, records offinancial institutions, andgeographical infor-
mation on oil wells. Three decades later, the Electronic Freedom of
Information ActAmendmentof1996 (EFOIA) updatedthe Freedom of
InformationActfor the digital era.
TheTechnologyAssessmentAct of1972. This actcreatedthe Office of
Technology Assessment (OTA), later disbanded as other IT agencies
supercededit. The OTA, along withtheCongressionalResearchService
(reconstituted and expanded by the Legislative Reorganization Act of
1970) and the Congressional Budget Office (created by the Budget Im-
of the 1966 FOIA legislation. It required timely notice in the Federal
Register ofadvisory committee meetings. FACA also required agencies
to allowinterestedpartiestoappearorfile writtenstatementsandman-
dated that advisory committees keep detailed minutes (to include a
anddocumentsapprovedbycommittees). Thesematerialsandallother
advisory committee minutes, transcripts, reports, and studies were
requiredtobeavailablefor publicinspection.
ThePrivacyAct of1974. This act protected the privacy ofindividuals
identified in information systems maintained by federal agencies. The
collection, maintenance, use, and dissemination of information were
regulated. The Privacy Actforbade disclosure ofanyrecord containing
personalinformation, unless released withthe priorwrittenconsentof
the individual. Agencies were also mandated to provide individuals
TheGovernmentintheSunshineActof1976. This was another elabo-
ration ofthe 1966 FOIA. It established the principle that the public is
entitled to the fullest practicable information regarding the decision-
makingprocesses offederal agencies.
The Presidential Records Act of1978. This post-Watergate legislation
tionresource management (IRM) approachto federal data. This impor-
tantpieceoflegislationwastheculminationofa decadeofinformation
icyframeworkfor IRM atthefederal level. Thedirectorofthe Office of
k ~
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mal Research Service
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From BITNET to FirstGov:Growth of the Internet, 1981-2000 35
Management and Budget (OMB) was given responsibility for developing
a policy for treating information as a resource and for overseeing the
implementation of an IRM plan. A major revision of the PRA in 1995
made strategic planning for IRM a federal mandate.
Thus, by the end of the 1970s, the federal government had moved from
data management to IRM and had put in place the legal infrastructure
to ensure both public access to federal information and also the protec-
tion of individual privacy. As later chapters will discuss, this legisla-
tion was less than effective in rendering its lofty ideals into satisfactory
practice. Moreover, these acts were the architectural underpinning for
what was to come, but they were written before the full impact of the
IT revolution in the two decades that followed. That impact ensured
that policies associated with the legislation enumerated above would
continue to require revisitation for the remainder of the century and, in-
deed, to the present day.
The last two decades of the 20th century witnessed the coming of age of
the Internet, which in turn breathed life into visions of e-governance dis-
cussed in Chapter 1. In 1981 there was no Internet. By 2000, the federal
government had established an impressive presence on the Web-a
presence that many thought would change everything.
The year 1981 saw the establishment of BITNET, the Because It's Time
NETwork. This important forerunner of the Internet was initiated as a
cooperative network at the City University of New York. It provided
electronic mail, file transfer, and discussion list functionality. In 1986
the National Science Foundation (NSF) funded NSFNet as a backbone
network. In 1987, NSF signed a cooperative agreement to manage
NSFNet in cooperation with IBM, MCI, and Merit Network. By the end
of 1987 there were 10,000 Internet hosts. Together, the military'S
ARPAnet, academia's BITNET, and the government's NSFNet formed the
triad of networks that melded to become the modern Internet.
By 1984 computer networking had advanced to the point where a for-
mally administered system of addresses was necessary. The domain
name system (DNS) was established that year, allowing users to employ
mnemonic Internet addresses (URLs-uniform resource locator ad-
dresses, such as instead of numeric Internet provider (IP)
addresses. The translation between URLs and their IP numeric counter-
parts was first done through a single lookup file, hosts. txt, maintained
by UCLA's Jon Postel, on a Department of Defense contract. Later, a
company called SRI maintained the lookup file, transferring it by file
transfer protocol (a way to transfer computer files over networks) to
server administrators around the country and around the world. In 1984,
USC's Information Sciences Institute devised the modern DNS, in which
DNS address information is spread out across the Internet. Maintenance
of DNS administration remained under Department of Defense contract
until 1991, when the NSF took over the nonmilitary portion. In 1992,
NSF contracted with Network Solutions, Incorporated (NS!) to perform
this function. Later, the government-created Internet Corporation for
Assigned Names and Numbers assumed responsibility for the DNSs and
related Internet infrastructure functions, though tbe military remains
responsible for the .mil sector, the federal government for the .gov sec-
tor, and foreign governments for their own domains.
By 1989, the number of Internet hosts reached 100,000, and the fol-
lowing year ARPAnet was phased out, eclipsed by NSFNet. When the
Clinton administration took office, the growing significance of the
Internet was already clear. Vice President Al Gore had been a cham-
pion of the High Performance Computing Act of 1991, which autho-
rized the creation of a "national high-performance computing program"
for high-speed networking and established the National Research and
Education Network. A year later the number of Internet hosts had
reached one million, the first Web browser software was released
(Mosaic, created by Tim Berners-Lee), and the age of Web surfing was
launched. The same year, 1992, the first White House Web page was
put up, and in 1993 public e-mail to the president and vice-president
was inaugurated.
Up to 1992, access to the Internet backbone was limited by the NSF's
"Acceptable Use Policy." This restriction, instituted by the National
Science Foundation Act, prohibited commercial traffic on the Internet.
Up to 1992, all Internet traffic had to be educational, scientific, or re-
search oriented. With the support of Congressman Rick Boucher (D,
VA), Chairman of the Science Subcommittee of the House Committee
on Science, Space, and Technology, legislation was passed and in Nov-
ember 1992 President Bush signed new legislation that repealed the
Acceptable Use Policy, replacing it with language that permitted com-
mercial traffic on the Internet backbone. The effects were profound and
The commercialization of the Internet was given a further accelerant in
1992, when the Supreme Court in Quill Corporation v. North Dakota
chose to uphold the precedent of its Bellas Hess V. Illinois State
Department of Revenue (1967) case. These principles prohibited Inter-
net sales taxation, overruling a North Dakota Supreme Court finding that
tr:m!;fprring it by file
las oyer networks) to
ad the world. In 1984,
lDdem DNS, in which
III of Defense contract
tary portion. In 1992,
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llnet Corporation for
iIi:ty for the DNSs and
the military remains
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significance of the
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From BITNET to FirstGov: Growth ofthe Internet, 1981-1000 37
technology had made the 1967 ruling obsolete. The tax prohibition
applied to vendors with no physical presence in the state. In 1991), the
World Trade Organization (WTO), meeting in Singapore, reduced tariffs
on IT trade items, thereby encouraging global Internet commercial de-
velopment And in 1998, the Internet Tax Freedom Act of 1998 (ITFA)
imposed a 3-year moratorium on state and local taxation of Internet
access-a moratorium that was subsequently renewed.
The overall ef-
fect of Supreme Court, congressional, and WTO actions was to open up
e-commerce as a very attractive milieu for doing business.
By the time federal funding of the Internet ended in 1993, the Internet
had become a private-sector entity. Routing began through private pro-
viders in 1994. NSFNet to being a limited research network. But
the commercialization of the Internet did not mean the federal govern-
ment had lost interest in promoting IT infrastructure-far from it. The
National Information Infrastructure Act of 1993 mandated funding pri-
ority in federal research and development efforts be given to accelerated
development of high-performance computing and high-speed network-
ing services.
The federal government also became more sensitive to social problems
associated with the growth of the Internet in this period. The Commgrcg
Department's 1995 National Telecommunications and Information
Administration's report, "Falling Through the Net," brought widespread
public attention to the issue of the digital divide. In reaction, the
Telecommunications Act of 1996 provided for a Universal Service Fund
fee (a telephone tax, also known as the HE-rate" fund or fee), pa:rt of
which became used on a Clinton administration initiative to providg
modem-based Internet access to schools, libraries, Indian reservations,
and other digital divide target groups.
At the start of the new millennium, on June 24, 2000, President Clinton
made the first presidential Internet address to the nation, calling for the
establishment of the FirstGov,gov portal, a consumer-oriented one-stop
Web address leading to all that the federal government had to offer. It
was seen by some as the start of building the virtual state.
was launched September 22, 2000, as a Clinton management initiative
that provided a gateway to 47 million federal government Weh pages. also linked state, local, DC, and- tribal government pages in
an attempt to prOVide integrated service information in particu)IH argall,
such as travel. It was managed by the Office of Citizen Servin!s and
Communications within the General Services Administration (GSA). It
fell short of some aspirations for it, but marked a tremen-
dous milestone in federal IT policy.
The coming of the information age brought with it several policy issues,
all having the common theme of applying long-standing social princi-
ples to new situations created by the possibilities of leT. These issues
included guaranteeing public access to electronic information, promot-
ing public participation in e-government, ensuring accessibility for the
disabled, protecting individual privacy, modernizing education, secur-
ing intellectual property, and, more recently, implementing electronic
voting and stopping the export of American IT jobs.
Public access to electronic information. EFOIA extended the right of cit-
izens to access executive agency records, updating FOIA rights to include
access to electronic formats and mandating agencies to provide online
opportunities for public access to agency information. EFOIA officially
defined a record in very broad terms. Release of information had to be in
a format convenient to the user instead of the agency's choosing, as pre-
vious case law had held. Agencies were required to make "reasonable ef-
forts" to search electronic databases for records. Electronic reading rooms
were required to have available "policy statements, administrative rul-
ings and manuals, and other materials that affect members of the public."
In 1998, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) , in
Bulletin 98-02: Disposition of Electronic Records, reminded agencies of
their obligations under federal law to provide documentation of agency
activities, including website pages and records.
Public participation in e-government. Toward the end of the last decade
of the century, e-government advocates increasingly emphasized the
need to go beyond passive information provision and instead actively
involve citizens in agency decision processes. In 1997, the U.S.
Department of Agriculture became the first federal agency to engage in
e-rulemaking, soliciting Web-based comments on rules for organic foods.
This initiative won the 1998 Government Technology Leadership Award.
A few other agencies followed suit, but implementation of this type of
initiative did not become widespread until management of e-rulemaking
became one of the two dozen Quicksilver e-government projects of the
Bush administration's President's Management Agenda in 2001. In 2002
the OMB called for a uniform protocol for e-rulemaking by the end of
2003. Finally, was launched as a new one-stop Web por-
tal in late 2002, part of the Bush administration e-government initiatives.
On this site, citizens could find, review, and submit comments on fed-
eral documents that are open for comment and published in the Federal
Accessibility for the disabled. The Rehabilitation Act Amendments of
1986 (sometimes called the Rehabilitation Act of 1986) added Section
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Policy Issues in the Information Age, 1986-2005 39
cies to establish guidelines for making IT accessible to the disabled.
Agencyaccessibilityevaluations were mandated,andtheattorneygen-
the Rehabilitation Act of1973 required federal agencies to make their
electronicinformation,includingtheirInternetpages, availableto peo-
plewithdisabilities.ThisstrengthenedtheSection508 disabilityaccess
holeallowed federal agencies to be exempted from Section 508 imple-
mentation where the disability initiative in question would constitute
Individual privacy. Privacyin cyberspace has been a continuing con-
gressional priority as federal IT has become pervasive, though imple-
mentation has been weak, as later chapters discuss. The Computer
Privacy Act of 1974 that extended Privacy Act protections to most
forms of computer matching of individual records across agencies.
However, in 1996 the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity
Reconciliation Act, also known as welfare reform, required interstate
and intergovernmental coordination for the matching of records to
ensure thatno individual exceededtheallotted 5-year lifetime cap on
assistance. Moreover, many IT initiatives after the terrorist strike of
September 11, 2001, were based on creating new levels of computer
ual consent.
vacy and Personal Information in Federal Records), directed federal
agencies to reviewtheir compliancewiththePrivacyActof1974. Each
agencywasto designatea seniorofficial for privacypolicy. Eachagency
wasrequiredto conducta PrivacyActcompliancereview. This require-
mentwasgeneralizedundertheBushadministration,whenin2003 the
Forthe first time agencies wererequiredto submitprivacy assessments
ofmajor IT systems as part oftheir annual business case submissions.
2002,whichincludedsectionsonprivacyassessmentsandWeb sitepri-
its support for modernizingtechnologyinfrastructurein public educa-
development inpublic education,healthcare, and industry andcalled
onNSFto fund efforts to connectK-12 classrooms to NSFNet. And, as
mentioned above, the Telecommunications Act of 1995 provided for the
HE-rate" telephone tax to fund Internet access for schools, libraries, and
others. Likewise. the Library Services and Technology Act of 1995 pro-
vided additional IT funding for public libraries. Finally, the New
Millennium Classrooms Act of 2000 provided tax incentives to corpora-
tions to donate up-to-date computers and related technology to schools
and libraries.
RQgulating Q-vicQ. The dark side of the Internet also came under con-
gressional scrutiny in the 1990s. The Communications Decency Act of
1996 (CDA) prohibited Internet distribution of "indecent" materials.
A few months later a three-judge panel issued an injunction against
its enforcement on grounds of vagueness. The Supreme Court unan-
imously ruled most of the CDA unconstitutional in 1997. Subse-
quently, the Child Online Protection Act of 1998 (COPA) established
$50,000 fines for commercial Web publishers who knowingly used
the Web to allow children to view pornography. It also required adults
to have to use access codes or other registration procedures before
being allowed to see objectionable material online. The American
Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) took the position that COPA criminal-
ized free speech. In the last case of its term, by a five to four vote, in
the case of Ashcroft v. the AGLU (2004), in July 2004 the Supreme
Court ruled that COPA "likely violates the First Amendment" and that
the government had not shown that its more restrictive approach was
more effective than less restrictive approaches such as filtering soft-
ware. The case was remanded to the lower courts, where the Bush
administration was expected to continue to defend the law as of this
The Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1995 (CPPA) sought to outlaw
digitally altering images of nude adults to make them appear to be chil-
dren. This was overturned by the Supreme Court in 2002 on grounds it
unduly censored artistic expression. Congress then reworded its legisla-
tion and passed the Prosecutorial Remedies and Tools Against the
Exploitation of Children Today Act of 2003 (PROTECT). This also out-
lawed adult images being digitally altered to appear as if children were
having sex and prohibited use of misleading domain names that tempt
children to access pornography. An amendment to PROTECT is the Child
Obscenity and Pornography Prevention Act of 2003 (confusingly also
called COPPA, the same acronym as the 1998 act discussed below), which
addressed the Supreme Court's 2002 decision by not mentioning artistic
morphing of images at all, but instead simply outlawed solicitation to
buy or sell child pornography. The ACLU found PROTECT to be a con-
siderable improvement over the CPPA, but still found it fell short of free
speech standards.
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Policy Issues in the Information Age, 1986-2005
The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA, not to be
confused with COPA, above) made it illegal to collect, use, or disclose
personal information from children under 13. Enforced by the Federal
Communications Commission, COPPA required those who collect data
from children under 13 to first obtain parental permission. Chat rooms
and similar websites were also prohibited from collecting data on chil-
dren as a prerequisite for access to the sites. COPPA legal action has cen-
tered on nonpornographic commercial sites such as and, which became entangled in COPPA-related Federal Trade
Commission (FTC) fines and litigation. COPPA has been much less con-
troversial than other legislation mentioned in this section and is thought
to be unlikely to be overturned by the Supreme Court.
The Protection of Children from Sexual Predators Act of 1998, in its
Title X, Section 604, made it the responsibility of Internet service
providers (ISPs) to report to law enforcement authorities any informa-
tion pertaining to child pornography, child prostitution, or child abuse.
The great majority of reporting under this act has been in the first Gate
gory, child pornography.
The Children's Internet Protection Act of 2000 (CIPA) was an amend.
ment to an omnibus appropriations bill for the departments of Labor,
Education, and Health and Human Services. It required use of filter soft-
ware by schools and libraries that received federal funds. Part of CIPA
was the Neighborhood Children's Internet Protection Act, which
required schools and libraries to post Internet safety guidelines. The
American Library Association and the ACLU challenged the constitu-
tionality of CIPA, the former on digital divide grounds (poorer citizens
who can only get Internet access through libraries would be restricted to
a smaller, inferior subset of the Web) and the latter on traditional free
speech grounds. Supreme Court upheld CIPA in a 6-3 decision on June
23, 2003.
In 2002, Congress passed the Dot Kids Implementation and Efficiency
Act, creating a new .kids domain, similar to .com and .edu. This domain
was to be a child-friendly space constituting a safe zone for children,
monitored for content, safety, and from which all objectionable material
would be removed. Online chat rooms and instant messaging were pro-
hibited unless they could be certified as safe. The websites under this
new domain would not connect a child to other online sites outside the
child-friendly zone. While representing a novel approach to the issue of
child protection on the Internet, as of this writing the .kids domain
remains relatively unpopulated and unused.
The Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Market-
ing Act of 2003 (CAN-SPAM) gave the FTC, state attorneys general, and
ISPs the power to enforce rules requiring senders of marketing e-mail to
include pornography warnings, to offer opt-out methods, and to not use
falae or deceptive information in e-mail subject lines. The law became
effective January 1, 2004, and authorized the FTC to impose fines up to
$250 por o-mail, with a cap of $2 million for initial violations and $6
million for repeat violations (these caps do not apply to e-mail using
false/deceptive aubject lines), There were also criminal penalties includ-
ing up to 5 years of prison. The FTC was mandated to develop a plan for
a national do-not-spam registry and was authorized to launch the list
after filing its report.
A 2004 Btudy found that most spammers were ignoring the CAN-SPAM
law. However, it was only in April 2004 that the first CAN-SPAM pros-
ecutions took place against operations promoting diet patches and
human grown hormone pills. In May 2004, the FTC required that the
term SEXUALLY-EXPLICIT: appear in the subject line of sexually ori-
ented commercial e-maiL In June 2004, the FTC advised Congress that
the proposed no-spam national registry could not be implemented until
technology emerged that could verify the origin of e-mail.
Securing intellectual property. Largely in response to demands from the
entertainment industry, Congress moved to protect intellectual property
rights through the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA),
which extended copyrights to digital media, but the "Fair Use Doctrine"
was retained to promote the rights of universities, libraries, and other
occaBional Wlers of intellectual property. The act also prohibited removal
of copyright management information from electronic media, outlawing
the circumvention of antipiracy access controls. The DMCA imple-
mented the 1996 World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPOJ Copy-
right Treaty of 1996 and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty
of the same year. The next year, the Trademark Cyberpiracy Prevention
Act of 1999 outlawed cybersquatting, giving corporations and others pro-
tection against those who register well-known domain names as a means
of extorting fees from existing trademark owners.
Electronic voting. The "hanging chad" controversy over voting in the
2000 presidential elections motivated passage of the Help America Vote
Act of 2002 (HAVA). HAVA funded replacement of lever and punch card
voting technologies with new electronic systems. By January 1, 2004,
states had to submit plans to switch to electronic voting machines for
use in the 2006 national elections. However, since 2002, numerous
issues have emerged about the security and integrity of existing elec-
tronic voting systems from Diebold and other vendors, bringing imple-
mentation into question and raising fears of litigation.
Regulating the outsourcing of IT jobs. The faltering performance of the
economy and the approaching 2004 presidential elections brought


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Securing E-Government, /986-2005 43
another IT policy issue to national center stage: the offshoring of IT jobs
to countries such as India and Ireland, where lower wages prevailed.
This also raised information security issues in the case of federallT work,
as well as issues of enforcement of privacy protection legislation when
work is performed abroad. Passed in January 2004, a provision of the
omnibus budget bill barred companies that win federal jobs through A-
76 competitions from shifting the work to other countrie5. The meaSUT\:1,
known as the Thomas-Voinovich Amendment (after its two Republican
sponsors), prohibited for one year any work won by a vendor from being
"performed by the contractor at a location outside the United States,"
unless the work is already being done overseas by government gmploy-
ees. The bill reflected growing congressional opposition to outsourcing
IT work, especially overseas.
In summary, the period from 1986 to the present has brought IT policy
from the sidelines to the forefront of congressional attention. Policies
have been formed and implemented in a wide variety of arenas tha.t
affect the way government does business and the rights of all Americans.
The policy issues raised in each arena are far from resolvedi in most
cases the legislated solutions are less than effective, and much more
political and agency activity may be anticipated in the future.
Even before the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. guaran-
teeing the security of cyberspace was emerging as a central concern for
those involved in public IT policy. After 9111, security emerged as the
number one priority of federal information officers, and IT budgets WQTQ
reallocated to reflect its heightened importance.
In the 1980s, security was seen primarily in tmms of computer crime. The
Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 impD!md fines and imprisonment
up to 20 years for various types of unauthorized computm access and
fraud. A 1996 amendment extended coverage to all computgrs involvgd in
interstate commerce and communications. The Electronic Communica-
tions Privacy Act of 1986 updated wiretap laws for the digital era and also
criminalized the unauthorized capture of telecommunications between
network points. The Computer Security Act of 1987 [CSA) mandated that
the National Institute of Standards and Technology [NIST) develop secu-
rity standards and guidelines for federal computer systems. The CSA alao
required that all federal agencies and their contractorB eBtabliBh computer
security plans.
In the 1990s, the Clinton administration began to put into placg thg archi-
tecture for securing cyberspace against foreign and domestic gngmi{}fJ. In
1994, reflecting FBI support, Congress passed the Digital Telephony Act,
requiring telecommunications carriers to design systems that wouldbe
tappable by law enforcement authorities. In 1998, in his Presidential
Decision Directive 63 (Protecting America's Critical Infrastructures),
based on recommendations ofthe President's Commission on Critical
Infrastructure Protection, President Clinton set forth the goal ofestab-
lishinganintegrated,secureIT infrastructureby 2003. Anationalcenter
to warn of infrastructure attacks was established in the National
InfrastructureProtectionCenter. Agencieswererequiredtoestablishper-
TheGovernmentInformationSecurityReformActof2000 (GISRA; part
oftheFY2001 DefenseAuthorizationAct) amendedthePRA byenact-
ing a newsubchapteron"InformationSecurity." Sometimes called the
SecurityAct, thislegislationrequiredtheestablishmentofagency-wide
informationsecurityprograms, annualagencyprogramreviews, annual
independent evaluations of agency programs and practices, agency re-
porting to OMB, and OMB reporting to Congress. GISRA covered pro-
gramsfor both unclassifiedandnationalsecuritysystemsbutexempted
agenciesoperatingnationalsecuritysystemsfrom OMB oversight.
Theterroristattackof9/11 broughtanescalationofactivityto thesecu-
2002, which established a chiefinformation officer (CIa) for the new
Dflpartment ofHomeland Security (DHS). The CIa was to oversee the
largest consolidation offederal databases in U.S. history. Other provi-
sions ofTitle 2 (the Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection
Section201-TheOffice ofUnderSecretaryfor InformationAnalysis
and Infrastructure Protection was created to receive and integrate
security information, design and protect the security of data, and
Operations Section), the National Communications System ofthe De-
partmentofDefense, theCriticalInfrastructure Assurance Office ofthe
DepartmentofCommerce,theComputerSecurityDivisionofNIST, the
National Infrastructure Simulationand Analysis Center ofthe Depart-
mentofEnergy, and theFederalComputerIncidentResponseCenterof
Section 203-This section established the secretary of homeland
security's entitlement to receive intelligence and other information
from agencies.
Section 204-Allowsthefederal government to denyFOIA requests
regarding information voluntarily provided by nonfederal parties to
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Securing E-Government, 1986-2005 45
Also following 9/11, Executive Order 13231 (Critical Infrastructure
Protection in the Information Age) created the President's Critical
Infrastructure Protection Board. The board was intended to be the cen-
tral executive branch policy body for cyberspace security. It was com-
posed of senior officials from more than 20 departments and agencies .
BeUer known by the general public, the USA Patriot Act of 2001 became
law on October 26 of that year. It gave government investigators greater
authority to track e-mail and to eavesdrop on telecommunications. In
September 2002, the court of review interpreted the USA Patriot Act to
mean that surveillance orders under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance
Act could apply to criminal as well as terrorist cases, meaning that U.S.
citizens could suffer electronic eavesdropping on a less protected basis
than hitherto .
A spate of new cybersecurity legislation followed on the hgelg of the
Patriot Act. The Cyber Security Research and Development Act of 2002
authorized funding for new computer and network security research
and grant programs and shielded ISPs from customer lawsuits when
they reveal customer information to law enforcement authorities. The
Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 strengthened the
information security program, evaluation, and reporting requirements of
federal agencies. In 2003, President Bush dissolved the Critical Infrn-
structure Protection Board, placing its functions in the new Homeland
Security Council, which was charged with coordinating cybersecurity
policy. Early strategy emphasized public- and private-sector best prac-
tices and downplayed enforcement of security policies on the private
For consumers, an amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting l\ct
ened laws to prevent identity theft, improve resolution of conaumer
disputes, improve the accuracy of consumer records. and make improve-
ments in the use of, and consumer access to, credit information. Called
the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003, the law requimd
credit reporting firms to give consumers free copies of thgir credit
reports and the opportunity to correct them. Also, the law mquired that
credit card receipts be shortened so as not to disclose consumgr namgs
and full credit card numbers. A National Fraud Alert System was also
set up to alert businesses of accounts suspected of being involved with
identity theft.
In 2004, the OMB formed the Information Systems Council (ISC) to co-
ordinate the sharing of terrorist information. This was seen as an im-
plementation of an August 2004 executive order by President Bush
(Strengthening the Sharing of Terrorism Information to Protect
cans) and partially implementing recommendations of the 9/11 com-
mission. The ISC included representation from the departments of
Commerce, Defense, Energy, Homeland Security, Justice, State, and
Treasury. and the CIA, FBI, and National Counterterrorism Center. The
ISC's role was to coordinate what types of information systems were
deployed in these 10 agencies for purposes of antiterrorism.
Finally. the much-publicized recommendations of the 9/11 commission,
centering on how to avoid future terrorist attacks, included the long-
proposed establishment of a separate, secure network for federal informa-
tion sharing. The McCain-Lieberman bill (for Senators Joseph Lieberman,
D-Conn., and John McCain, R-Ariz.) proposed such a network in
September 2004 for the dissemination of homeland security information,
in spite of some criticism that the plan would reduce redundancy and
increase the incentive for targeted hacking of federal information. Their
bill also called for establishment of a national intelligence authority and
creation of a national counterterrorism center.
In terms of building e-government itself, one of the first important
pieces of legislation in the recent period (since 1990), was the Chief
Financial Officers Act of 1990 (CFOA). The CFOA called for (1) com-
plete and timely information prepared on a uniform basis and that is
responsive to the financial information needs of agency management;
(2) the development and reporting of cost information; (3) the integra-
tion of accounting and budgeting information; and (4) the systematic
measurement of performance. These four objectives required develop-
ment of a financial information system and networked access to it, as
well as a computerized performance tracking system-all central com-
ponents of e-government.
Political clout was given to the movement toward e-government by the
establishment of the National Performance Review (NPR) on March 3,
1993. (NPR was later renamed the National Partnership for Reinventing
Government). NPR represented the Clinton administration's belief in IT as
a tool to reform government. Under the leadership of Vice President AI
Gore, the NPR report, Creating a Government that Works Better and Costs
Less: Reengineering Through Information Technology; signified a water-
shed in thinking among governmental reformers. The reinventing govern-
ment movement, originated with a focus on decentralization/devolution,
by 1993 had come to see e-government as a major means of leveraging
reform. The Government Information Technology Services Board was cre-
ated in 1993 to help implement NPR in IT arenas.
Three other developments also made 1993 a watershed year for
e-government. The Government Performance and Results Act of 1993
ostice, State, and
orismCenter. The
tion systems were
9/11 commission,
Deluded the long-
IJI' federal informa-
cb. a network in
t redundancy and
inlhrmation. Their
.. fi.r5t important
11. Willi the Chief
IILxl for (1) com-
....,isiIDd that is
IIiY miIDagement:
I; (3) the integra-
l) the systematic
IIJ.lliI"Pd d9velop-
to it, as
.-nnumtby the
PIQ on March 3,
I h RBinventing
"It ooliBfinITas
II Progident Al
and Costs
iiIJIIifioo 11 water-
IIIII!!Il1ing govern-
- ofleveraging
-Board wascre-
..t.d VB1U' for
.._o\.ct of1993
Building the Virtual State, 1990-2005 47
required agencies to prepare multiyear strategic plans that described
agency mission goals and approaches for reaching them. The act also
required agencies to prepare annual program performance reports to
review progress toward annual performance goals, which, of course,
included IT goals. Executive Order 12862 (Setting Customer Service
Standards, 1993) mandated that all agencies, including IT agencies,
identifytheircustomers, customerneeds, andsetstandardsand bench-
marksfor customerservice,layingthebasisfor apolicyofcustomerori-
entationas akeystone ofe-governmentlaterinthe decade. Finally, the
Government Information Locator System (GILS) was announced
February 22, 1993, as an Internet index to all federal materials. It re-
flected adecisionoftheClintonadministrationtosupportdirectagency
releaseshouldbecontractedthroughprivate thirdparties.
for IRM, designated senior information resourceB manager positions in
major federal agencies. and created the Office of Information and Reg-
ulatoryAffairs (OIRA) withinOMB to providecentraloVtlfBight ofIT ac-
tivities across the federal government. OIRA was mandated to "develop
andmaintainagovernment-widestrategicplanfor informationreBourGeS
management."TheOIRA directorbecame,inprinciple.themainITadvi-
sorto thedirectoroftheOMB. ThePRAalsocalledonagenGiesto"ensure
that the public has timely and equitable acceSB to the public
information," including electronically. Agency use ofOILS (an Internet
indexto federal information) was mandated. In thesewaysthePRA cre-
ated the control structure for implementingthe e-government initiatives
thatwere to come. To implementthePRA, the OMB's 1996 issueof Cir-
cular A-130 mandated life cycle information management planningand
Themost importantIT legislation ofthe decade was theClinger-Cohen
Actof1996 (originallynamedtheInformationTechnologyManagement
Reform Act of1996, an amendment to the PRA of1950), which estah
lished a CIa in every federal agency, making agencies responsible for
developing an IT plan that relates IT planning to agency missions and
goals. TheClinger-Cohen Act also mandated top management involve-
ment in IT strategic planning, using IT portfolio management
approaches. The oversightrole ofthedirectoroftheOMB was strength-
ened.TheClinger-CohenActalso accomplishedthe following;
Encouragedfederal agencies to evaluate and adopt best managgmgnt
andacquisitionpracticesusedbyprivateand publicsectororganiza-
RequiredagenciestobasedecisionsaboutIT investmentBonquantita-
tiveand qualitativefactors related to costs. benefits. andrisks, andto
use performance data to demonstrate how well the IT expenditures
The Clinger-Cohen Act also streamlined the IT acquisition processby
ending the GSA's central acquisition authority. It placed procurement
smaller,moremodularIT projects.
Later, whene-governmentbecamea priority, theexistence oftheCIO
strategic planning structure was an important element facilitating
e-government implementationatthe federal level. PresidentClintonin
1996 issuedExecutive Order13011, a companionto theClinger-Cohen
plusseniorOMB/OIRApersonnel. TheCIO Councilwasintendedtobe
the central interagency forum for improving agency IT practices. EO
13011 representedthepresidential"sealofapproval"for e-government.
In practice the CIO Council was eclipsed by initiatives from the OMB
itselfand did notbecome a majorgenerator ofIT initiatives under the
The next major building block of IT policy was the Government
Paperwork Elimination Act of 1998 (GPEA), which authorized the
OMB to acquire alternative ITs for use by executive agencies (Sec.
and provided for the electronic filing of employment forms (Sec.
1705). Electronic filing ofmostforms was required tobe inplaceby
October 21, 2003. The GPEA was the legal framework for accepting
electronic records and electronic signatures as legally valid and
enforceableandalso representedcongressionalendorsementofthee-
At the same time, advocates of privatization and outsourcing ofgov-
ernmentalactivitieswere making serious inroadsinthe world ofpub-
lic IT. The Federal Activities Inventory Reform Act of 1998 (FAIR)
requiredagenciesto inventoryandreportto the OMB alloftheircom-
mercial activities. The FAIR Act then establisheda two-step adminis-
trative challengeandappeals process underwhichan interested party
the inventory as a "commercial activity." Although the FAIR Act did
notrequireagenciestoprivatize, outsource,orcompeteitscommercial
activities, subsequent OMB guidelines required that nonexempt com-
mercial activities undergo a cost evaluation for a "make orbuy" deci-
sion. Each time a federal agency head considers outsourcing to the
privatesector, a competitiveprocess isrequired. FAIR putpressureon
agencies to outsourceIT operations. Thoughcore operations were not
the IT expenditures
h. such measures like
'client satisfaction
quisition process by
lDIl"aged adoption of
!l:istence of the CIO
_mmt facilitating
Clinton in
It the Clinger-Cohen
I Z8 federal agencies
was intended to be
=1 IT practic8s. EO
for f:'-gon:!rnment.
from thf:l OMB
IliJ:i.atin:l!; under the
I the Goyernmf:lnt
iI!Il authorized thf:l
Ih"o agencies (Sec.
Idiom; 1703-1707);
forms (Sec.
lID be in place by
IIDl'k for accepting
legally yalid and
lanement of the e-
.-am.n:ing of gov-
1- world of pub-
d 01 1998 (FAIR)
..n of thgir com-
int@il'>Sted party
llirular activity on
"\ct did
III: ib commercial
t-.:mrxempt com-
... or buy" ded-
--=nting to the
pit pressure on

Building the Virtual State, 1990-2005 49
to be outsourced. CIOs sometimes felt the core was encroached upon
and that it was difficult to establish effective performance standards
with vendors.
President Clinton endorsed the concept of a federal government-wide
Internet portal. Firstgov,gov, in his Presidential Memo of December 17,
1999 (Electronic Government). The President announced 12 steps agen-
cies could take, including getting forms online by December 2000, PO:lt-
ing online privacy policies, posting e-mail contact information, and
identifying e-gov "best practices." In the same year, the Pr8sidtmt's
Management Council adopted digital government as one of its top three
priorities. On June 24, President Clinton made the first Internet address
to the nation by a president of the United States, On September 22, ZOOO,
the portal was launched. In the 2000 election. both candi-
dates (Gore and Bush) advocated expansion of digital government.
Though not limited to IT, the little-known Data Quality Act of 2000
(DQA, aka Information Quality Act) was Significant as an example of
federal policy aimed at information controL Thb onf:l-paragraph provi-
sion was added without debate or hearings as Section 515a of the Trea-
sury and General Government Appropriations Act of 2000. It charged
OMB with the task of developing government-wide guidelines to ell9UI'O
and maximize the quality of information disseminated by ag9ncieg. Each
agency must develop an administrative mechanism whereby affected
parties can request that agencies correct poor-quality information (that
is, an appeals process was mandated). The practical effect of tl19 DQA
was to give primarily industry complainants the basis for holding up 9n-
vironmental or other reports by objecting to individual statistics, rgquir-
ing agencies to provide evidence for every statistic and statement in a
report recommending some action.
The incoming Bush administration issued its core document, The
dent's Management Agenda, in August 2001 (OMB, 2003a). This docu-
ment committed the Bush administration to five major management
objectives. one of which was electronic government. In June 2001. the
OMB created the position of Associate Director for Information Tech-
nology and E-Government. This gave the OMB a "point man" to give
higher priority to IT initiatives, particularly the goal of creating a citizen-
centric government through e-government. Mark Forman waB thfl firBt to
serve in this position.
The OMB issued the cornerstone document E-Government Strategy on
February 17, 2002 (OMB, 2002). This document set forth the three fun-
damental Bush administration e-government principles: citizen-centric,
results oriented, market based.
It also called for increased cross-agency
data sharing. Some 34 specific projects were identified for funding,
including the 23 (eventually 25) in the Quicksilver initiative announced
IT u 2
in October 2001:
_ .... I11III
Government to citizen
Ii ...
USA Service (GSA)
EZ Tax Filing (Treasury)
Online Access for Loans (DoEd)
Recreation One Stop (Interior)
Eligibility Assistance Online (Labor)
Government to business
Federal Asset Sales (GSA)
Online Rulemaking Management (DOT)
Simplified and Unified Tax and Wage Reporting (Treasury)
Consolidated Health Informatics (HHS)
Business Compliance One Stop (SBA)
International Trade Process Streamlining (Commerce)
Government to government
E-Vital (SSA)
E-Grants (HHS)
Disaster Assistance and Crisis Response (FEMA)
Geospatial Information One Stop (Interior)
Wireless Networks (Justice)
Internal effectiveness/efficiency
E-Training (OPM)
Recruitment One Stop (OPM)
Enterprise HR Integration (OPM)
Integrated Acquisition (GSA)
E-Records Management (NARA)
Enterprise Case Management (Justice)
In 2002, the first Chief Technology Officer for the federal government
was appointed. This officer was to oversee the implementation of
e-government initiatives. Casey Coleman, heading up the GSA's Office
of Citizen Services, was appointed July 25. Although coordination of
implementation was shared with the GSA and CIO Council, the OMB
retained primary responsibility for IT and e-government policy at the
federal level.
Under the Bush administration, a performance engineering (systems
analysis) approach to public IT and e-government became ascendanL
Acting on a February 2002 recommendation from the Federal CIa
Council, the OMB established the Federal Enterprise Architecture Pro-
gram Management Office (FEAPMO) on February 6, 2002. In 2002
FEAPMO issued The Business Reference Model Version 1.0, which
created a functional (not department-based) classification of all gov-
ernment services with a view to its use by OMB for cross-agency
reviews to eliminate redundant IT investments and promote reusable
og (Treasury)
rederal government
implementation of
rp theGSA's Office
p coordination of
CounciL the OMB
ment policy at the
pneering (systems
JeCame ascendant.
the Federal CIO
I .ArchitecturePro-
6. 2002. In 2002
mion 1.0, which
ationof all gov-
for cross-agency
promote reusable
Building the Virtual State, 1990-2005 51
IT components. A Performance Reference Model (Fall 2002) set gen-
eral performance measurement metrics. A Data and Information Ref-
erenceModel was issuedto set uniformguidelines for dataneededto
programplanningandbudgeting systems (PPB): functional insteadof
line itembudgeting, emphasis on empirical measurement ofperform-
Perhaps thebest-knownpieceof2002 IT legislationwas theElectronic
GovernmentActof2002 (EGA), passedNovember15 andsignedbythe
president on December 16. The act was sponsored by Senator Joe
Lieberman(0, Conn.) andwasintendedto promotee-governmentinall
donebytheOMB'sAssociateDirectorfor IT andE-Government:
The EGA established an Office of Electronic Government (OEG)
withinthe OMB. Theheadofthis office was to beappointedbythe
presidentandreporttotheOMB director. Inessence,thisformalized
theadministrativesetupestablishedbytheOMB in2001 underMark
Forman, makingthe OEG headthefederal CIO andthenewOEGthe
overseer of setting cross-agency standards, including privacy stan-
dards, andensuringnewe-governmentinitiatives werecross-agency
innature.As suchtheEGArepresentedadirectattackontheagency-
TheEGA required regulatory agencies to publishall proposedrules
ontheInternet and to accept public commentsviae-mail as partof
AllinformationpublishedintheFederal Register wasnowto bepub-
lishedontheWeb also.
The federal courts were required to publishrulings and other infor-
Privacy protections were added, prohibiting posting of personally
identifiable information. Privacy notices are required, codifying a
3-year-oldOMB directiveto agencies.
TheEGA also promotedbetterrecruitingandtrainingoffederal IT
officers. Each agency headwas required to establish anIT training
program. Public-private employee exchange programs were also
Common standards for geographic information systems (GIS) infor-
The OMB's prime role inoverseeing IT security was reaffirmed, to be
The EGA authorized $45 million available to the OMB for e-government
projects in the fiscal year 2003, $50 million in FY 2004, and $250 mil-
lion in each of FY 2005 and 2006. However, actual appropriations
deleted $40 million of the authorized $45 million, forcing the OMB to
implement e-gov strategy from mostly departmental budgets. Subse-
quent appropriations were also far lower than originally planned.
In 2003, the OMB announced "Round 2" of its e-government initiatives in
March, looking beyond the initial 24 Quicksilver initiatives. Round 2 was
to focus on six areas: data and statistics, criminal investigations, financial
management, public health monitoring, and monetary benefits to individ-
uals. The OMB was trying to force joint projects (e.g.. Justice, Treasury. and
the Environmental Protection Agency to have one criminal investigation
system instead of three separate ones). However. funding of e-government
initiatives for FY 2004 was cut to $1 million. far short of the $50 million
over 5 years initially announced. OMB's head of the OEG, Mark Forman,
quit, departing for the private sector. Future grovvth of e-government was
called into question, at least temporarily, and agencies were forced to look
largely to internal resources to implement e-government. This became in-
creasingly difficult as spending for IT security trumped e-government pri-
orities in the post-9/11 period.
Nonetheless, in 2004 the OMB forged ahead with an ambitious ap;';HUcU
for public IT and e-government. A key priority was systems consoli-
dation. As part of FY 2005 planning, the OMB directed agencies to list
human resources or financial IT systems that are in planning or acqui-
sition stages, with a view to redirecting redundant spending and mov-
ing toward government-wide combined HR-financial applications.
Also as part of FY 2005 planning, the OMB required agencies to sign
fee-far-service agreements with Recruitment One-Stop, E-Training,, and Geospatial One-Stop portals, attempting to institution-
alize an internal market to fund these e-government initiatives from
departmental budgets. And in the third prong of 2004 OMB IT policy,
the OMB required agencies in their FY 2005 requests to integrate secu-
rity plans with IT systems proposals, providing business cases that
incorporate security in life cycle planning. Starting in 2004. the OMB
demanded agencies not only report security incidents but break report-
ing down by certified versus noncertified systems, and to identify
causes of incidents, creating additional pressure on agencies to meet
security standards. The OMB implemented red-yellow-green ratings
of each major agency on a variety of IT dimensions. including both
e-government and security. To get green, agencies must attain security
certification for 90% of their IT systems.
Most recently, the Bush administration has pushed ahead with its priva-
tization and outsourcing agenda. This agenda is implemented directly in
l ~ m for e-government
{2004. and$250mil-
actual appropriations
1, forcing the OMB to
tntal budgets. Subse-
:inally planned.
vestigations, financial
rrbenefitsto individ-
:riminal investigation
lit ofthe 850 million
~ OEG. Mark Forman,
5 wereforced to look
lent. This becamein-
II ambitiousagenda
iIS s\-stems consoli-
!:ted agenciestolist
t planningoracqui-
ncial applications.
eel agencies to sign
~ t o p E-Training,
IIing toinstitution-
III initiatives from
1M o:\m IT policy,
RSi:ness cases that
inZ()()..!. the OMB
I,. and to identify
l .nciesto meet
....--green ratings
... including both
... w:ith its priva-
Summary S3
the OMB's A-76 guidelines for competing federal jobs as discussed in
Chapter10and indirectly through the General ServicesAdministration
ModernizationActof2005 (GSAMA), whichispendingandexpectedto
pass at this writing. GSAMA promotes partnering and outsourcing by
permitting public- and private-sector acquisition staffto work in each
other's organizations for a period oftime. The GSAMA also makes per-
manentcontroversialshare-in-savings contractingandrequires agencies
to use commerciallyavailableonlineprocurementservices.Allthisis to
be overseen by a newFederal Acquisition Service, which incorporates
Fromthe War of1812tothewaronterrorism, federal informationpol-
icy has been influenced by military events. From the protection of
structurein2004, the underlyingcontinuityofpolicyhasbeennational
actiontoestablishandsafeguardinformationasanationalresource. The
IntheaftermathofWorldWarII, VannevarBushlaidoutthevisionof
whatwas to one day be called the Internet, callingfor the mobiliza-
ernment subsidy and direction marked the advent of the computer
age, withthefirstmainframecomputersbeingcreatedforthemilitary,
andlater, usedbylarge federal agenciessuchasthe U.S. Census. The
origins ofthe Internet may be traced to the ARPA ofthe Department
ofDefense andto NSFNet, and federal subsidy didnotend untilthe
early 1990s. Even the commercialization ofthe Internet came about
Several importantlines ofpolicy makingmarkthe studyofmodernIT
Increasing public participation, from the APA of1946 to the launch
Protecting citizen rights, from the Privacy Act of 1974 to the OMB
Establishinga comprehensiveapproachto themanagementofpublic
informationsystems, fTom thePRA of1980to theClinger-CohenAct
of1996andtheEGAof2002 I
Securing the infrastructure ofcyberspace, from the ComputerFraud
theISC of2004.
viding accflssibility for the disabled, modernizing education, securing
intellectual property, implementingelectronicvoting, andstoppingthe
exportofAmericanIT jobs, tonameafew.
Today,inthefirstyears ofthe21stcentury,theevolutionofinformation
policyis at a crossroads. E-governmentstrugglesto expandinaneraof
budgetaryausterity. Theprotectionofcitizenrights strugglestosurvive
inanagfl ofcounterterroristsurveillance. Efforts to expandpublic par-
ticipationface thelong-termtrendofincreasinglevelsofnonvotingand
emphasizing the human factor, find diminishing leeway as systems
management becomes the dominant theoretical foundation of those
chargedwithimplementingfederal informationpolicy. AndthecoreIT
capabilities offederal agencies are stretchedto thelimitbytheprivati-
zationandoutsourcingoftheirformer functions.
Intheadverse settingthatfaces muchofthepublicIT world, thegood
news is that citizens and presidents alike believe inthe efficacy ofIT
solutions to the problemsgovernments face. Whetherfrom resignation
to technological determinism or systems theory assumptions that IT
methodsequatetoefficiencyor, for thatmatter,from activelyembracing
the beliefthat IT will reinforce their power, political leaders are more
prone than ever to give priority to legislation and executive branch
actionsthatadvancepublicIT policies.
I. Whatweresomeofthehurdlesthefederal governmenthadtoclearwith respect
tosavingand sharinginformation withthepublic between 1813and I945? How
have thesehurdleschangedsinceenteringtheelectronicage?
2. Howhas thenational defensesectorinfluenced thedevelopmentofelectronic
3. TheInternethas notalways beenopenforcommercialuse.Whateventsoccurred
tochangethe Internetfrom astrictlyeducational,scientific,and research-oriented
tooltowhatitis today?
4. ThemovetoprivatizationandcommercializationoftheInternetprovided new
challengesforthegovernmentwith respecttosocial issues.Whatis thedigital divide,
and whatactions have been taken bythefederal governmenttobridgeit?
... -- .
....t!'t '
-- tIIlKII
c , s

Glossary 55
S. Whatstepshave beentaken byCongress,theFrC,and Internetprovidersto stop
SPAM?Whatbarriers remain in thewayofeffectivelyregulatingSPAM?
6. Prelnternetcomputercrimelegislation dealtmainly with fraud and unauthorized
osuchissuesas pro- access.WiththeadventoftheInternethow has computercrimechanged,andwhat
education, securing stepshave beentakentocurbit?
118.. andstoppingthe 7. Howhave counterterrorismefforts ofthefederalgovernmentimpacted citizen's
8. TheoutsourcingofIT positionsis currentlyacontroversial issue.Discuss proand
conargumentsforoutsourcingandfor associated legislation.
I expandinanera of
9. Whatsteps have beentaken tomovefederal governmentawayfrom providing
i strugglesto survive
purely passive information ontheInternettoactively involving citizens in electronic
I expandpublic par-
!:Is ofnonvotingand
10. Thefunding offederallTprojects remainsachallenge.Whathas theOMB required
ofparticipatingagencies in ordertocontinuefunding in recentyears?
leeway as systems
Dundation of those
!icv. AndthecoreIT
limitby the privati- GLOSSARY
AdministrativeProceduresActof1946: This(lctrequiredthepublica-
~ IT world, thegood tionofproposedfederal rulesandregulationsintheFederal Register. It
in the efficacy ofIT also requiredagencies to holdhearingsandensurepublicparticipation
e- from resignation as partofagencies'rule-makingprocesses.In1993anelectronicversion
LS:mIDptions that IT ofthe Federal Register was created. The APA laidthe legal basis for e-
I ilrth-elyembracing regulation.
Jd leaders are more
Clinger-CohenActof1996: AlsoknownastheInformationTechnology
d @xecutive branch
Management Reform Act of 1996, this act was an amendment to the
PaperworkReductionActof1980.It establisheda chiefinformationoffi-
cerwithineachfederal agency. responsible for developingan agency IT
the evaluationand adoption ofprivate- and public-sectorbest manage-
ment practices, required qualitative and quantitative information to be
usedinIT investmentdecisionmaking, andstreamlined the IT acquisi-
ComputerFraudandAbuseActof 1986: This act imposedfines and
imprisonment onthose found guilty ofsuchcomputercrimes as unau-
D as occurred
thorizedcomputeraccessandfraud. The1995amendmentextendedthe
legislationto coverall computersinvolvedininterstate commerceand
ElectronicGovernmentActof2002: Thisactpromotod o-govormmmt
for federal agencies. It established anOffice ofElectronic Government
withinthe Office ofManagementand Budget to oversee the setting of
cross-agency standards and to make sure new e-government initiatives
adhered to the standards. The act also formalized prior OMB directives
that required regulatory agencies to publish proposed rules on the
lntmngt and to accept electronic public comments.; This Internet portal, launched on September 22, 2000,
was the product of a Clinton administration management initiative to
improve public access to federal information and services. At its incep-
tion. this consumer-oriented portal provided access to 47 miBion federal
government, tribal government, state, and District of Columbia Web
paggs. The portal was expanded under the Bush administration.
Freedom of Information Act of 1966 (FOIA): This act established the
right of the public to have access to federal information. Agencies were
directed to make available, either automatically or upon an individual's
request, their information with several exemptions for law enforcement,
military, intelligence, and other agencies. Also exempted was informa-
tion pertaining to internal rules and personnel issues, trade secrets, indi-
Vidual privacy, items protected by existing laws, information that could
affect law enforcement or trials, and geographical information on oil
w(')lltl. Thirty years later FOIA was amended to reflect the rising influ-
ence of the Internet. The 1996 E-FOIA directed executive agencies to
provide electronic information in a format most convenient for the user,
and electronic reading rooms were mandated.
Homeland Security Act of 2003: This act was created in the aftermath
of September 11; this legislation established a chief information officer
for the new Department of Homeland Security, responsible for the
largest consolidation of federal databases in the history of the United
States as well as several changes in data storage, sharing, and accessi-
bility. This included the right of the federal government to deny FOIA
requests on information provided voluntarily by nonfederal parties to
the Department of Homeland Security for reasons of homeland security.
Information Systems Council of 2004: Created under the Office of
Management and Budget, this body coordinates the sharing of terrorist
information between agencies. The council was created in part in accord
with the recommendations of the 9/11 commission. Representatives
from 10 federal agencies presented a plan in December 2004 detailing
what information systems should be deployed.
Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980 (PRA): This act mandated the first
unified policy framework for information resource management within
the federal government. The PRA required that the director of the OMB
develop a resource management plan for information and to oversee its
implementation. In 1995 the PRA was revised to require strategic plan-
ning for information resources management at a federal leveL
utle, and
vaey of Il
vate info
The act u
Act of 191
ing of ind
citi20ns t(
ulations f
product 0]
fictive slg(
lPrtiBident I
28, 2001.6
Intern!'!! tax
as Wtill 115 iI
nificant l'G\',
sion of the)
an additionl
bQQn reconG
~ h c URL is
3Thll F oderiil
quired agem
tho U.S. Col
counting sta
accounting a
4The IRS Rest
tronic filing
forms, instrul
net Section:
ically to COIDl
access to the
tury Act of 2(
physical tram
check clearan
5Jim J. Tozzi. f(
Regulatory Af
agriculture. aI
cal atrazine 01
ture, the infor:
same findings
Natural Resou
"hamstrung El
mountain of d
n-ernment initiatives
!'rior OMB directives
JPOsed rules on the
September 22, 2000,
1gement initiative to
enices. At its incep-
to -17 million federal
:t of Columbia Web
5 ad established the
Ilion. ;\gencies were
mpon an individual's
b I.:lW r;mforcement,
mpted was informa-
s.. tntde secrets, indi-
formation that could
. information on oil
led the rising influ-
~ t i y agencies to
",anient for the user,
rOO in the aftermath
r information officer
responsible for the
Itory of the United
liming. and accessi
.rnt to deny FOIA
!lldederal parties to
'Lomeland security.
lIIdel' the Office of
sbaring of terrorist
I!Id in part in accord
IlL Representatives
Iber 2004 detailing
.mandated the first
liiIIlilgement within
lirector of the OMB
I and to oversee its
!DiJ'e strategic plan-
m Ion;!l.
Endnotes 57
Privacy Act of 1974: This act regulated the collection, maintenance,
use, and dissemination of federal information in order to protect the pri-
vacy of any individuals identified there within. Any disclosure of pri-
vate information required prior written consent from the individual.
The act was amended by the Computer Matching and Privacy Protection
Act of 1988 to extend the protections of act to most computer match-
ing of individual records across agencies. This Internet portal provided an electronic space for
citizens to review and then provide feedback on proposed rules and reg-
ulations from the Federal Register. It was launched in late 2002 as a
product of the Bush administration's e-government initiative to provide
active electronic opportunities for pll blic participation in rule making.
lPresident Bush signed the Internet Access Taxation Moratorium on November
28, 2001, extending the 1998 ITFA to November 1, 2003. The moratorium on
Internet taxation was seen by the Bush administration as an economic stimulu5
as well as a promotion of Internet industries, but statg goVgrnIIlflntg fBgrBd g i g ~
nificant revenue losses. The Bush administration supported ft permftnent exten-
sion of the moratorium, which passed the Housg, but thB SBngtg votgd only for
an additional four years in April 2004. At this writing, the two ver,5ionB hftd not
been reconciled.
2The URL is http
3The Fedoral Financial Management Improvement Act of 1995 (FFMIA) re-
quired agency financial management systems to Gomply with fedeml finiinGiiil
management system requirements, applicablg fgdgral accounting fltgndardf!, gnd
the u.s. Goyernment Standard General Ledger. To the extent that federal ac-
counting standards specify IT aspects. the FFMIA requires uniformity of IT
accounting across the federal government.
4The IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998. Section 2001c promoted elec-
tronic filing of tax returns. Section 2003d required the IRS to establish that all
forms. instructions, publications, and other guidance be available via the Inter-
net. Section 2003e provided for tax return preparer5 to be authorizmd eltJGtron-
ically to communicate with the IRS. Section 2005 providgd taxpaygrg glgctronic
access to their accounts by 2006. In 1998 also. the Pmtftl Service Iftunched
e-commerce, selling stamps via the Web. The Check Clearing for thB ngt Om-
tury Act of 2003 allowed the substitutability of electronic imageB of ehoekB for
physical transfer of printed checks among bankg. It did not mandata a\actronic
check clearance but made it legally equivalent.
sJim J. Tozzi, former Reagan administration head of the Offir:g of Information and
Regulatory Affairs. later turned lawyer-lobbyist for chemicaL rubber, peotiGide15,
agriculture. and other industries, challenged the EPA's regulation of thg chmni-
cal atrazine on the ground that since there were opposing findings in the litera-
ture, the information used by the EPA could not be said to be reliable since the
same findings could not always be reproduced. The WaaiJiIlgtOIl POal quoted
Natural Resources Defense Council scientist Jennifer Sass as saying the act has
"hamstrung EPA's ability to express anything that it couldn't back up with a
mountain of data. It basically blocked EPA scientists from expressing an experl
opinion." Atrazine was eventually given the go-ahead as a hormonil blMkilr
sprayed on corn, in spite of considerable but not universal evidence that it might
cause cancer (Weiss, 2004, p, 7),
6President Bush issued a Presidential Memo on the Importance of E-Government
in July 2002, stating, "My administration's vision for government reform is
guided by three principles, Government should be citizen-centered, results ori-
ented, and market based,"
7Thll Cllnmal Smviclls Administration and the Office of Federal Procurement
Policy, with involvement from DOD, NASA, and NIH, advanced e-procurllmllnt
by establishing the Past Performance Information Retrieval System in 2002 to
give online access to past vendor performance records. Also in 2002, the OMB
issued a revision of Circular A-76 in October, replacing lowest-cost acquisition
with best-value acquisition, a goal long sought by ClOs. The circular also
encouraged outsourcing, in line with the Bush administration's goal to out-
source 15% of "noninherently governmental jobs."
Thll OMB issulld a revision of OMB Circular A-16 in August 2002 setting
guidelines for standardizing GIS data collection records. This laid the basis for
its Cllospatial One Stop portal, one of 240MB e-government Quicksilver ini-
tiatives. Circular A-16 was originally issued in 1953 to give OMB authority over
surveying and mapping.
5The GSA was also authorized $8 million for digital signatures and $15 million
for maintenance and improvement of and other portals.
FirstGov.Gov will be improved by adding a subject directory so pages can be
accessed by topic rather than by agency.