US govt dept installs 18,000 instant messaging seats

The US Department of Labour is using instant messaging as a public address system for 18,000 of its employees in its Washington headquarters.

          The US Department of Labour is using instant messaging (IM) as a public address system for 18,000 of its employees in its Washington headquarters.

          The use of e/pop, a one-way broadcast notification system from WiredRed Software in San Diego, is limited compared to most IM installations because it's only one-way. But with 18,000 end users, it's one of the largest deployments yet, says Allen Drennan, WiredRed CEO.

          The government agency purchased licences to install the proprietary IM software throughout the Labour Department's campus in the US capital. The system will broadcast emergency information over an internal network using RSA for authentication with both the sender and receiver, digital certificates and signing, as well as RC4, Digital Encryption Standard (DES), triple-DES and AES for encryption.

          The department will use the system only behind a firewall, but Drennan says e/pop can be configured to work across any backbone, such as a virtual private network or the internet.

          The advantage of installing instant messaging for emergency broadcasts instead of email, an intranet or a public address system, Drennan says, is that the message is instantly placed in front of the user and it remains there, even for users who are temporarily out of reach.

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