OJP Press Release letterhead

For immediate release
Friday August 6, 2004
Office of Justice Programs
Contact: 202-307-0703

Statement regarding the MailMarshall issue

     Unfortunately the Washington Post story was wrong. The Office of Justice Programs (OJP) operates and maintains its own computer system and has been in the process of updating it for several months. Until the final update could be completed, OJP activated a stop-gap security measure to protect their system. As an interim security measure, the office purchased a standard, commercial, off-the shelf anti-viral/security software, MailMarshall. The software system scans email that could damage the network severely, blocks spam email and additionally filtered a standard, generic list of words providing senders with an opportunity to rephrase or remove words before they reached their intended recipients. This was not a "custom" package in any way, shape or form.

     Not more than a few hours after OJP management was first alerted to a concern with the software, they disabled it. Unfortunately, four days later an inaccurate press release was issued by the union that indicated that there was still an issue despite the fact that the problem had been resolved.