State switch to Google raises security concerns

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah state government employees will switch to using Google cloud services on November 13, a move that some say is too risky, and others say is forward thinking.

The state currently uses a Novell system called Groupwise, though 3000 of the state's 20,000 employees have transitioned already to help work out problems with the system. With Groupwise, data is stored in a local server. Using Google Apps for Government, all of state employees' e-mail and document sharing will be housed in servers owned by the Google corporation.

Executive Director of Information Technology for Utah, Mark VanOrden, describes the service as something very different than what most think about Google. He says data is safe using Google Apps for Government.

"There is no reason to worry," said VanOrden. "Our contract is such, and again, it is FISMA compliant, they cannot data-mine this. This is a different part of Google than the Google search that you think about."