Many Government 2.0 advocates are frustrated that government agencies and employees can't use the services that citizens use every day- so government can't interact with citizens where they already engage. GSA announced last week
that this may be changing, and agencies can now choose to take advantage of some of these services.
The GSA has been quietly negotiating with popular service providers to create new contracts, otherwise known to the GSA as "no cost agreements," that allow government to use these services. GSA has so far secured agreements with YouTube, Flickr, Vimeo, and blip.tv. They're also working on social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook, and I imagine that these contracts will be the basis of a larger contract. In addition, GSA found that Twitter's standard terms of service are compatible with government use. Hopefully, GSA will come up with a service-independant agreement that agencies can use to base any terms of service on for third party services, opening the new media ecosystem.
The barrier to government embracing new media services revolves around the "terms of service" contractual obligations that come with the use of these services. You know these contracts, they are ones you likely never read, those seemingly endless screens of cramped type, written in prose that only a lawyer can love. And while you may choose to ignore them, federal agencies can't. Typically, the terms of service that you agree to by using the service have provisions that the government cannot agree to.
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