The predictable tension between information security officers and early adopters in state and local IT is brewing again. This time it pits proponents of social networking sites against security officials who see fast-growing tools, like Facebook and Twitter, as conduits for malware and data breaches.

Supporters say public agencies must learn how to use social networks effectively to reach younger citizens and support an incoming government work force that considers e-mail obsolete. But security officials - accustomed to being an afterthought in the rush to deploy the latest must-have applications - worry that cool new Web 2.0 tools will expose government networks and sensitive information to dangerous cyber-threats.


Video: California CISO Mark Weatherford discusses social networks and other security challenges.

Social networks are merely the latest technical evolution to give security officials heartburn, said John Pescatore, a vice president of Gartner.

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Andy Opsahl  | 

Andy Opsahl is a former writer and features editor for Government Technology magazine.