The Circuit

WASHINGTON (07/24/2000) - NASA, the Energy Department and other agencies are being ridiculed by the hacker community for their poor track record of keeping out cyberattackers.

A series of Web site defacements during a weekend in July led to numerous "not again" comments. Some observers likened government Web servers to Swiss cheese.

No wonder Jeffrey Hunker, senior director of critical infrastructure at the National Security Council, has often said that government is a model for information security - "a model of what not to do," as he pointed out again at the E-Gov conference this month in Washington, D.C.

Remaking Fed Web Sites

General Services Administration Administrator David Barram and Bill Piatt, GSA's chief information officer, are on the board of directors for FirstGov, the governmentwide Web portal that will help align federal services by area rather than agency. So it makes sense that GSA's own Web site is undergoing a realignment.

GSA already has started to reorganize information into services for the "American public," "government agencies," and "business and industry." The final result should be unveiled by October. This is something all agencies should look into for their own Web sites, Piatt said. Roll of the Dice Forget Monte Carlo. Don't bother with Las Vegas. For the time being, gambling still has a life on the Web. Last week the House of Representatives defeated the latest effort to curb the explosive growth of casino-style gambling in cyberspace.

But the real question is: Can federal workers play their numbers games online during lunch, or is this forbidden?

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