Federal Agency Still Uses Floppy Disks
The Federal Register, the daily journal of the United States government, still uses floppy disks to carry out important tasks, including the transfer of the text of executive orders, proposed rule changes, and presidential proclamations. Yes, floppy disks.
"You've got this antiquated system that still works but is not nearly as efficient as it could be," Stan Soloway, the chief executive of the Professional Services Council, told the New York Times. "Companies that work with the government, whether longstanding or newcomers, are all hamstrung by the same limitations."
Floppy disks, whose use peaked when MTV still played music videos, are no longer featured in any of today's (or yesterday's, or last week's) computer hardware. But still, the Government Printing Office, which runs the Federal Register, accepts documents on CD-ROMs and floppy disks, but not flash drives, SD cards, or email.
The New York Times explains that the government's secure email system "is expensive, and some government agencies have not yet upgraded to it. As a result, some agencies still scan documents on to a computer and save them on floppy disks. The disks are then sent by courier to the register."
Agency officials have remarked that the lack of funding and the slow rate of technology adoption, as well as security concerns, have made the use of floppy disks a necessity.