Friday, April 08, 2011

How a Government Shutdown Would Affect the IT Industry...

The government shutting down not only affects things like military benefits and social security checks being mailed out to seniors. The technology world will feel some significant fallout as well.

Mashable has put together the following list of ways in which the IT industry would be affected by the government shutdown...

  1. Hold That IPO! - The Securities and Exchange Commission announced on Thursday that it would not process any company filings in the case of a government shutdown, Reuters reports.

    That means that IPO filings would be put on hold. A prolonged shutdown (unlikely, but possible) could affect companies late in the IPO process, like Zipcar, as well as companies that have filed but haven’t set terms yet, like LinkedIn.

  2. Government Websites Go Dark? - A memo that Office of Management and Budget Director Jack Lew wrote to the heads of executive departments and agencies asked them to make determinations of whether their websites were essential or not, The Hill reports.

    According to this memo, public access to government information doesn’t fall under this category. Websites necessary for operation like the IRS website for filing taxes, however, will remain open.

  3. A Victory For Telemarketers And Spammers - According to a statement that the Federal Trade Commission posted on Friday, the Do Not Call Registry and Spam Database will not be available to law enforcement organizations in the case of a furlough.

  4. Google And Microsoft Wait For Paychecks - It’s not just government employees who might find themselves without a paycheck should the government shut down. Hundreds of thousands of business who have contracts with the government might also be affected. Those companies include mid-size IT firms and giants like Google, which beat Microsoft out to be the provider of choice for the first federal agency to use either company’s cloud-based services. (Microsoft still holds a vast number of government contracts for its Office suite.)

  5. Government BlackBerrys Get Switched Off - Some furloughed employees would either turn in their BlackBerrys or be banned from using them. CNNMoney reports that employees deemed “essential” will be permitted to continue checking essential emails on their BlackBerrys. Which begs the question of how these employees will know which emails are essential without reading them first.

None of this is exactly going to paralyze the digital world. It'll cause some inconvenience, sure, but all those 0's and 1's will, for the most part, keep doing their thing. It does, however, make for some interesting trivia.


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