Date: 01/01/1990Government Open Standards Interconnect Profile (GOSIP)

THE FEDERAL INFORMATION PROCESSING STANDARD (FIPS) #146: Government Open Systems Interconnection Profile (GOSIP)

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), 1990

In 1990, NIST released a document called The Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS #146) which outlined the GOSIP. All vendors were asked to comply with government offices implementing this profile starting around August of 1990.

Unfortunately, by the time the Government got around to ‘standardizing’ and ‘implementing the GOSIP standard’ the Internet had already fully implemented TCP/IP as its own standard and was using it exclusively. TCP/IP and GOSIP were NOT compatible. The government, caught with a technology that no longer matched the de-facto standard used on the Internet then mandated that the IETF and the IAB make the Internet compatible with GOSIP even though the OSI GOSIP software was not yet finished and not fully standardized even by 1990 when the FIPS #146 document was published.

If you take a look at the NIST website today, you will see that FIPS 146 / GOSIP is no longer listed, a legacy of a bygone era.

Why do we bring up GOSIP? Because when dealing with old, crusty government and military networking folks, you will hear references to the OSI protocols, FIPS 146 and GOSIP, because it takes a looong, loooooongg time for government programs and protocols to die.

Fortunately, most government offices have now fully embraced the TCP/IP suite.