Our government is stupid. Anybody that has dealt with bureaucracy knows this… but, imagine, the State Department would like Clinton to allow them to use a FREE (that means no cost) SAFER web browser (you would think that would be important at the State Department)… but wait! It is TOO EXPENSIVE! Did I mention it is FREE? Oh, but it would take too much overhead to keep it patched! But wait, it notifies the user and can be patched with one click… for FREE! OK!!!
Dept. of State Would Like to Use Firefox… but Can’t!
“Despite the rise of open source within the federal government, Mozilla’s Firefox has yet to gain an official nod from the Department of State, at least according to a recent question-and-answer session that Secretary Hillary Clinton and Under Secretary Patrick Kennedy hosted last week, with an ironic back-and-forth on Firefox kicked off by government employee Jim Finkle:
Finkle: Can you please let the staff use an alternative Web browser called Firefox? I just–(applause)–I just moved to the State Department from the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency and was surprised that State doesn’t use this browser. It was approved for the entire intelligence community, so I don’t understand why State can’t use it. It’s a much safer program. Thank you. (Applause.)
Clinton: Well, apparently, there’s a lot of support for this suggestion. (Laughter.) I don’t know the answer. Pat, do you know the answer? (Laughter.)
Kennedy: The answer is, at the moment, it’s an expense question. We can —
Finkle: It’s free. (Laughter.)
Kennedy: Nothing is free. (Laughter.) It’s a question of the resources to manage multiple systems. It is something we’re looking at. And thanks to the secretary, there is a significant increase in the 2010 budget request that’s pending for what is called the Capital Investment Fund, by which we fund our information technology operations. With the secretary’s continuing pushing, we’re hoping to get that increase in the Capital Investment Fund. And with those additional resources, we will be able to add multiple programs to it.
Yes, you’re correct; it’s free, but it has to be administered, the patches have to be loaded. It may seem small, but when you’re running a worldwide operation and trying to push, as the secretary rightly said, out fobs and other devices, you’re caught in the terrible bind of triage of trying to get the most out that you can, but knowing you can’t do everything at once.”
Ignorance can be cured, but there’s no cure for stupid!