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Cablegate: Ugov: A Valuable Communications Lifeline at Mission

VZCZCXYZ0020
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBUL #3253 2871112
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 141112Z OCT 09 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2156
RUEIDN/DNI WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS KABUL 003253

DEPARTMENT FOR CIO SUSAN SWART AND IRM/BPC/CST
DEPARTMENT ALSO FOR NEASCA/EX
USFOR-A FOR POLAD

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AMGT AADP KRIM AF
SUBJECT: UGov: a Valuable Communications Lifeline at Mission
Afghanistan

REF: 10/2: www.intelink.gov message "UGov Enterprise Email Service
Termination"; 09KABUL1840 and reftels

1. The Interagency Provincial Affairs (IPA) Office of Mission
Afghanistan has begun to rely on the Intelink portal and the
associated "UGov" enterprise email as a primary mechanism for
communication with our Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) and
other field representatives from the Department of State, USAID and
USDA. At present, almost 135 field officers have active Intelink
passports, and we are working aggressively to migrate all users away
from commercial email (such as Gmail and Yahoo) to SBU-capable UGov.
With the steady increase in field positions, we anticipate that
over 400 U.S. Mission users will use Intelink and related enterprise
services, including UGov, by March 2010.

2. Since 2002, field representatives, especially those in
coalition-led PRTs, have been forced to rely on commercial email
accounts to communicate with Embassy Kabul because it was the only
low-band-width, internet-based platform available to them. While
convenient and inexpensive, these commercial accounts are not
appropriate for handling sensitive information that field
representatives must send and receive on a daily basis. The
enterprise solution offered by Intelink and UGov resolves a plethora
of communication issues, providing a low-bandwidth platform that is
SBU-capable. We are using it not only for basic email, but also for
shared documents, briefcases (where groups of related documents can
be organized and stored) and calendars. This is particularly useful
in Afghanistan, where phone lines are unreliable and where field
reps rely heavily on slow satellite communication for internet
connection. Embassy Kabul is working to bring OpenNet and better
technology to all civilian desktops in Afghanistan, but it could be
up to a year before the technology is fully functioning in all
locations. We understand and appreciate that the State CIO has
approached the ODNI on the importance of continuing the UGOV
capability for both existing and new users at least thru FY10. We
hope that Intelink and UGov will continue to be available as a key
component of our knowledge management needs in Afghanistan and as a
valuable source of support for USG personnel working under extremely
adverse conditions to advance America's highest priority foreign
policy objectives.

3. We invite you to view our PRT Portal in the Intellipedia portion
of the intelink website at http://www.intelink.gov/wiki/, then enter
"Portal: Afghanistan Provincial Reconstruction Teams" in the upper
left hand corner and click the Go button.


EIKENBERRY

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