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Scope of Work
An October 1995 workshop called "New York on the Internet" showed how important electronic networks have become for communicating in today's world: to disseminate information, to transact business, to link remote offices to central databases, to link agencies with their suppliers and contractors, and to exchange information between agencies and levels of government.

At that workshop, more than 170 people, representing state and local government and the private sector, helped craft an agenda for CTG's Internet Testbeds. Participants focused on the management, policy, and technology dimensions of the Internet. They identified benefits and hurdles to government's use of the Internet, and defined some of the deliverables of the Testbeds. Two Internet Testbeds were initiated to address the key issues and learning objectives raised by these recommendations: an Internet Services Testbed, which emphasized the design and delivery of information-based services; and the Internet Technologies Testbed, which explored several key technical issues that underlie many kinds of networked services.

The Internet Technologies Testbed

The Internet Technologies Testbed examined two technical issues that affect the ability of government to either deliver networked services or to conduct government operations more efficiently: network security and a common user interface.

The security component looked at the methods available for protecting data, servers, and local area networks from loss, damage, or unauthorized use. Understanding and employing effective security management is critical to an organization's ability to move forward with any Internet based service. The common interface project had as its primary objective the examination and demonstration of the World Wide Web as a universal interface for the delivery of New York State services to its citizens. It asked whether the Web can be viewed as a preferred method of service delivery in four key areas: business applications, information dissemination, workgroup collaboration, and education.

The Internet Technologies Testbed involved several government organizations and a number of corporate partners in a variety of hands-on experiments, instructional activities, and demonstration projects designed to clarify these issues.

Technology Issue 1: Security on the Internet

Security was identified as the top issue of concern by the attendees of the October 1995 workshop. "Security on the Internet," a day-long event developed to respond to this concern, provided both generic and platform-specific information regarding security on the Internet. The seminar was open to all levels of government and included:

  • Internet security as part of an overall organization security plan,
  • Risk assessment as the foundation for security planning,
  • Securing the server and LAN,
  • Methods for securing data transmission,
  • Methods for testing the security solution, and
  • Monitoring the system/preparing for and responding to a break-in.

Technology Issue 2: The World Wide Web as a Universal Interface to Government Services

The primary objective of this part of the project was the examination and demonstration of the World Wide Web as a universal interface for the delivery of New York State services to its citizens. There are many potential benefits of a universal interface to Web-based services. It could integrate the delivery of services and present a more unified and user-friendly interface for accessing those services; reduce the learning curve and training costs; help government reach an expanded audience; give citizens anytime, anywhere convenient access to government; provide a single point of entry to services; and allow government to integrate information and services which originate at different sites on different platforms.

The project sought to investigate if the Web had reached a high enough level of sophistication and "openness," that New York State could consider adopting the Web as the preferred standard for interfacing the many services, applications, and platforms inherent in such a large enterprise.

In cooperation with the State University of New York Central Administration (SUNY Central), the project team demonstrated how agencies could deliver many of their services under this one common interface. These services could include information services, distance learning, work group collaboration, business services, electronic commerce, office automation, and others.

Project Deliverables

  • Seminar and Technical Reports: Internet Security
  • Seminar and Final Report: The WWW as a Universal Interface to New York State Government Services