Friday, September 9

Bad government!

As a government IT worker, I am offended and angry that public employees are making such poor technology decisions - especially when it affects the real well-being of the citizens. Information Week (and many other sources) are carrying a story about how FEMA is blocking access to online disaster aid requests:
To file a claim online at FEMA's Individual Assistance Center, where citizens can apply for government help, the browser must be IE 6.0 or later with JavaScript enabled.

That cuts out everyone running Linux or the Mac operating systems, as well as Windows users running alternate browsers such as Firefox or Opera.

When TechWeb tested the site using Windows XP and Firefox 1.0.6, the message "In order to use this site, you must have JavaScript Enabled and Internet Explorer version 6. Download it from Microsoft or call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) to register" popped up on the screen.

Attempts to contact a FEMA representative were unsuccessful.

Hey, FEMA! Pull you head out of your nether regions ... even your own bosses at Homeland Security have said "Use a different web browser."

Security issues aside, I am disgusted that such a stupid policy decision is preventing profoundly needy people from applying for the very aid they need so desperately!

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