Special Reports

The U.S. Geological Survey internet access is shut down as a
result of an disput with the Department of Interior managed
Indian Trust Fund Mismanagement .

Update: 11:03:36 AM Friday, December 7, 2001

December 7, 2001


Below is a copy of the letter set out by Chip Groat, Director of the US Geological Survey orderin his department to disconnect from the internet:

    From: Chip Groat
    To: All USGS Employees Nationwide

    Subject: Disconnecting E-mail and Internet Access

    At the direction of the Office of the Secretary, the USGS has been ordered to immediately disconnect all of its external network connections due to security concerns of the Court in the Cobell v. Norton case. As a result, all USGS users will not be able to:

    • Send or receive Internet email
    • Send or receive email outside of USGS
    • Access the Internet
    • Access FPPS

    In addition, all USGS customers will not be able to:

    • Access USGS web pages
    • Send email or receive email from USGS

    These measures were ordered by the Court after the Special Master for the Cobell litigation hired a contractor to conduct penetration testing of Indian Trust Management systems resulting in a compromise of those systems. As a result, all Bureaus must take these measures.

    Cost centers that have their own ISP service must work with their provider to filter all public access to their web and email. Cost centers should provide a contact name and phone number to receive notification of ability to reinstate services.

    It is unknown at this time how long these measures will be in place. The Department is working with the Court to discuss the security of our systems and the restoration of the affected connections. In the interim, users may wish to contact their frequent business contacts and make arrangements to conduct business by telephone and fax. I understand that these measures have serious consequences to our ability to meet our mission and I ask for your understanding until such time as the Court sees fit to allow us to restore these services.



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