State rolls out embassy Web pages

State rolls out embassy Web pages

The State Department has started to launch secure Web sites for its embassies on the Open Source Information System, a senior department official told GCN.

State connected its sensitive but unclassified network, known as OpenNet, to OSIS last November. The OSIS link provided the department a connection to OSIS' sensitive but unclassified bandwidth and information resources provided by the intelligence community. The Intelink Management Office, an intelligence community agency reporting to CIA director George Tenet, operates OSIS.

State plans to establish the diplomatic Web presence on an extranet that would allow it to share information with other agencies via OSIS, the senior official said. The embassy Web site project is in its beta stage now, he said.

'The idea here is that while telegrams are still used, and e-mail, these are linear,' the official said. 'Now, people are used to getting information on Web pages that are available 24-7.'

OSIS does not yet have all the collaborative tools, such as chat, whiteboarding and threaded conversations, that the department seeks to provide to its diplomats. But State does advocate the extension of OSIS to other federal agencies that operate in embassies, such as the Commerce and Agriculture departments and Agency for International Development, the official said.

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