This Appendix establishes policy for the management and use of the Internet in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
USDA authorizes the use of the Internet to support Department and agency missions. Access to the Internet is provided through the USDA Internet Access Network. Internet is an integral part of service delivery in USDA. While its rate of growth continues to increase, today the Internet, a world-wide ”network of networks” comprises roughly 200,000 networks ranging from intra-building local area networks to global wide area networks. High speed networking technologies and developments have made the Internet a desirable source for expanding research interest and information dissemination and communications. More recently the Internet has expanded to include government information, educational information systems, archives and business resources. The Internet also includes functions for electronic mail (E-Mail), remote computer networks, file transfers, World Wide Web (WWW) and wide area information servers. USDA recognizes that the Internet differs from existing earlier communications systems and that policy must reflect that the Internet has no geographical boundaries, USDA employees should understand how the Internet operates, how to use it, and how it affects program delivery today and its promises for tomorrow.