Google Drive Enabled for LionMail (Finally)

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Google Drive will finally be available through LionMail starting in late July. CUIT sent an email presumably to all LionMail accounts with the announcement this afternoon. Another email from Jared Odessky of University Senate adds that, “This was the result of a year-long student push in the Senate IT Committee since September.” And it’s about time: Columbia first switched to Gmail from the now defunct CubMail in 2012. The full email from CUIT is after the jump.

Dear Students and Colleagues on LionMail,

As you may know, one of the many possible features of LionMail is Google Drive (“LionMail Drive”), a cloud storage environment that houses documents and enables collaboration.

Many students, faculty and staff have asked CUIT to enable Drive for LionMail, and we are pleased to share that the University is ready to enable this service in late July, prior to the start of the Fall 2014 term.

LionMail Drive allows online, cloud-based storage, organization, sharing, and collaboration for files, including documents, presentations, and spreadsheets. The creator of a file in Drive may wish to use it for online backup so they can access it from anywhere, or they could choose to share the document with others on LionMail—either granting view-only access, or editing access for collaborative work.

As a service managed by Columbia, LionMail is subject to the same security policies and oversight as other University IT services. Columbia’s contract with Google provides protections that improve upon those contained in the consumer Google Apps license. Therefore, we urge you to cease any use of consumer-based Google Drive for University matters, and recommend you use LionMail Drive instead. For more information about LionMail and security, go to: http://cuit.columbia.edu/lionmail/lionmail-faq#security-faq.

I want to draw your attention to the requirements below, which will accompany the launch of this new service:

Notably, while LionMail Drive will be available for classroom use, because of the lack of access for certain types of disabilities, the University prohibits faculty from requiring it for any academic interaction. Requiring its use might exclude some students from full class participation and access to the full academic environment.
To protect those using LionMail, sharing documents on LionMail Drive is limited to the setting “Private: Only people granted permission can access. Sign-in required.”
Additionally, all information should be protected from unauthorized access or unauthorized modification. Sensitive information should not be transmitted or stored unencrypted on LionMail Drive. Examples of sensitive information include the information a doctor might have about a patient, Social Security Numbers (SSNs) or Driver’s License numbers, banking information and credit card numbers (CCNs). For details please refer to CU Data Classification Policy http://policylibrary.columbia.edu/data-classification-policy.
An automated filtering system for employees, including student employees, will monitor LionMail documents for sensitive information such as Social Security Numbers, credit card numbers, and incorrectly shared documents. Documents containing unencrypted SSNs and CCNs will have sharing removed and instructions will be sent to the owner as to how to remove/encrypt the document from LionMail. Under no circumstances should anyone ever store, email or share unencrypted Personally Identifiable Information (PII) or Personal Health Information (PHI) as defined in the Data Classification Policy.

To guide you through using LionMail Drive in accordance with University policies, we have created a policy and procedure document that outlines more detailed information, available on the CUIT website: LionMail Drive Requirements. This information is also on the Provost’s website at http://provost.columbia.edu/policies.

Again, this service will be available to you beginning in late July 2014. Please reach out to askcuit@columbia.edu if you have any questions.

Best regards,


Candace C. Fleming
CIO and VP, Information Technology
Columbia University

Medha Bhalodkar
CISO and AVP, Information Technology
Columbia University

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  1. uhh

    Only private sharing allowed? That's inconvenient, our club uses "Anyone with link can view" for some documents because we don't want to get 50 emails requiring access to simple stuff that doesn't need to be hidden...

  2. Privacy?

    What are the privacy rules, really? Can the administration access all the lion mail drive documents in case of an investigation?

  3. Anonymous  

    why hasn't bwog reported on the spec thing?

  4. Anonymous  

    Privacy is dead, and the sooner we get used to it, the better. There should be an infrared video camera in every bedroom and every bathroom -- including the White House and the Vatican -- streaming live online

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