With projects ranging from safer Web browsing to a 21st century air traffic control system, federal, state, and local agencies demonstrate that they, too, can apply IT in critical and novel ways.
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A team at the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio has developed a simple software program, called Lightweight Portable Security that enables secure computing in a variety of common scenarios. LPS is available in a free, public version and in a version intended for government use called LPS-Remote Access. The latter employs a minimized Linux operating system that connects to a hard-coded IP address, establishing a VPN to a remote computer.
LPS-Remote Access was created in mid-2009 in response to the H1N1 pandemic threat. The H1N1 threat never materialized to the extent feared, but the software has proved to have a range of potential uses, such as telecommuting during weather-related office closings. It has been approved for emergency telecommuting by the Department of Defense.