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  • AKO Email Now Requires CAC Access

    I received this about 2 days ago and now my Gmail can no longer pull emails from AKO.

    PAY ATTENTION -- YOU MAY BE IMPACTED

    You are receiving this email because Army records indicate you have been
    issued a common access card (CAC). Therefore, your email service has
    changed already or is about to change.

    There are several differences between AKO email and EE that users need to
    be aware of. Specifically, email cannot be accessed:
    -- Via Outlook (and the AKO Outlook connector) using a non-government
    computer.
    -- From personal mobile devices, as these typically require either IMAP or
    POP protocols.
    -- Using IMAP/POP protocols from a commercial email client (e.g., Outlook
    or Thunderbird), as these do not support the mandated CAC PKI certificate
    authentication requirement.
    It has also stopped working for my Gmail on my mobile device as described above.

    This is step in the completely wrong direction and makes AKO almost completely irrelevant for communicating via email. If the object was to make content on the AKO infrastructure more secure, this does the complete opposite. (Think about it. If you could send an email from an AKO account to an external domain, what part of AKO was truly secure to begin with? The only difference now is that much more content will be off the AKO network than on it.) I'm a pretty computer savvy person and even I won't be bothered to send Army related business on AKO if I can avoid it now.

    What are your thoughts?

  • #2
    Re: AKO Email Now Requires CAC Access

    I cut out using AKO most of the time for a few reasons.

    I'm tired of gigantic passwords
    AKO itself is a beast that sometimes can take forever to load


    I have a choice of forwarding it to my army mail.mil address or keeping it in the web mailbox. I forward it to my mail.mil address specifically so I can avoid AKO at all costs. I go there on occasion to check my OMPF and personnel stuff, but thats it.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: AKO Email Now Requires CAC Access

      Originally posted by show_stopper999 View Post
      I cut out using AKO most of the time for a few reasons.

      I'm tired of gigantic passwords
      AKO itself is a beast that sometimes can take forever to load


      I have a choice of forwarding it to my army mail.mil address or keeping it in the web mailbox. I forward it to my mail.mil address specifically so I can avoid AKO at all costs. I go there on occasion to check my OMPF and personnel stuff, but thats it.
      A system so un-usable that additional security measures actually make the whole ecosystem less secure. Genius at work.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: AKO Email Now Requires CAC Access

        You can still use your username and password at https://akologin.us.army.mil/suite/l...site-%3d0zxxz0 for non-FOUO content

        I like it because it worked as my NIPR Shareportal downrange and if you are a Signaleer that understands IA; this is totally understandable for this change. Also, my AKO email will soon be deactivated and I will solely have my DISA email (.mil@mail.mil) account. It is all good for security purpose and if things start migrating towards smartphone use; then this is the proper step in moving forward in that direction.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: AKO Email Now Requires CAC Access

          My "sponsored" AKO expired a year or so ago. (When you get out, you need a buddy to vouch/sponsor you once a year so you can use AKO and e-Learning.) Anyway, when I did have it, I could not forward to anything other than another government email address. Luckily, my state email was eligible.

          With regards to mobile devices, every sector is largely unprepared to handle it. The few solid solutions out there can get expensive and most important...crafting the right policy for device (or email on device) use is difficult. Also, new products and technologies in mobile devices emerge every 6 months, making it really difficult to properly invest or keep up to date.
          Last edited by SteveLord; December 12th, 2012, 05:30 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: AKO Email Now Requires CAC Access

            Originally posted by fmcityslicker View Post
            You can still use your username and password at https://akologin.us.army.mil/suite/l...site-%3d0zxxz0 for non-FOUO content

            I like it because it worked as my NIPR Shareportal downrange and if you are a Signaleer that understands IA; this is totally understandable for this change. Also, my AKO email will soon be deactivated and I will solely have my DISA email (.mil@mail.mil) account. It is all good for security purpose and if things start migrating towards smartphone use; then this is the proper step in moving forward in that direction.
            This is all good and dandy, but if it is not usable at the end-user level, what good is it? The point is that I want to be able to access email at any time and be able to send an email at any time. The majority of M-day soldiers that I know barely have a functioning CAC. This change makes AKO/DISA email completely irrelevant as they cannot use a standard email client such as Gmail to handle basic email functionality. It's a complete step backwards in terms of productivity to the point that most will simply elect to use a non-government email to handle military business.

            Government is probably the only place where you can design such a poor system and still have a job. If you even suggested a design as flawed as this where I work, you would be laughed at and told to leave and get it together.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: AKO Email Now Requires CAC Access

              Originally posted by SteveLord View Post
              My "sponsored" AKO expired a year or so ago. (When you get out, you need a buddy to vouch/sponsor you once a year so you can use AKO and e-Learning.) Anyway, when I did have it, I could not forward to anything other than another government email address. Luckily, my state email was eligible.

              With regards to mobile devices, every sector is largely unprepared to handle it. The few solid solutions out there can get expensive and most important...crafting the right policy for device (or email on device) use is difficult. Also, new products and technologies in mobile devices emerge every 6 months, making it really difficult to properly invest or keep up to date.
              There are some cross-level platform development frameworks such as PhoneGap that try to cut down on the cost of development. It basically utilizes a web development perspective. I don't have any experience with it, but I wonder how buggy the API must be.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: AKO Email Now Requires CAC Access

                Originally posted by Polo08816 View Post
                This is all good and dandy, but if it is not usable at the end-user level, what good is it? The point is that I want to be able to access email at any time and be able to send an email at any time. The majority of M-day soldiers that I know barely have a functioning CAC. This change makes AKO/DISA email completely irrelevant as they cannot use a standard email client such as Gmail to handle basic email functionality. It's a complete step backwards in terms of productivity to the point that most will simply elect to use a non-government email to handle military business.

                Government is probably the only place where you can design such a poor system and still have a job. If you even suggested a design as flawed as this where I work, you would be laughed at and told to leave and get it together.

                I agree that AKO has many flaws and DISA is taking over many services. Are Guard members moving towards DISA emails? I had my AKO migrated to Beta mail and if you want that link, I can provide it to you.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: AKO Email Now Requires CAC Access

                  Originally posted by fmcityslicker View Post
                  I agree that AKO has many flaws and DISA is taking over many services. Are Guard members moving towards DISA emails? I had my AKO migrated to Beta mail and if you want that link, I can provide it to you.
                  Does "Beta mail" (I presume: https://mail.beta.army.mil/) resolve the issue of being IMAP/POP3 compatible? That is the real issue. I want to be able to receive my AKO emails anywhere from any device that has some email client that interfaces through IMAP or POP3. If I have to login using a CAC card web browser, then the frequency that I check that AKO is going to be at most a day.

                  I would presume that most M-day soldiers will not even bother with DISA/EE once this implementation is complete because in order to check an Army email, they will need their CAC card and a pint of virgin blood.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: AKO Email Now Requires CAC Access

                    Here is the info to Beta mail which migrated my AKO e-mail to this site. I get more e-mail space and no issues compared to AKO.

                    https://www.beta.army.mil/default.aspx <--- read and e-mail them so they can migrate your account

                    https://mail.beta.army.mil/ <--main link to access it. It has been great for me.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: AKO Email Now Requires CAC Access

                      Originally posted by fmcityslicker View Post
                      Here is the info to Beta mail which migrated my AKO e-mail to this site. I get more e-mail space and no issues compared to AKO.

                      https://www.beta.army.mil/default.aspx <--- read and e-mail them so they can migrate your account

                      https://mail.beta.army.mil/ <--main link to access it. It has been great for me.
                      In other words, BETA mail allows you to configure your mobile device's native email application using the MS Exchange server. No CAC needed for mobile devices?

                      I'm basing this on reading this: Link

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: AKO Email Now Requires CAC Access

                        Originally posted by fmcityslicker View Post
                        I agree that AKO has many flaws and DISA is taking over many services. Are Guard members moving towards DISA emails? I had my AKO migrated to Beta mail and if you want that link, I can provide it to you.
                        Yes, we all migrated to DISA.

                        AKO webmail is going away next year. https://web.mail.mil is the link for the new webmail. It's not Army wide, it's DOD wide. My outlook global address has everyone from National Guard to Reserves to AC Army to Marines to Navy to Embassy's and deployment zones.

                        Also, the email address changed. Instead of blah.blah@us.army.mil it's now blah.blah.mil@mail.mil

                        Of course, in AKO, it's forwarded to blah.blah.mil.mail.mil but soon that will be the primary address.


                        Sorry if this is hard to understand, I'm being rushed >(

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: AKO Email Now Requires CAC Access

                          I know all of this because I am get all the information updates on Milsuite at https://www.milsuite.mil/login/Login...e.mil%3A443%2F

                          I was just curious if Guard members were getting this since when I was an M-day Soldier, I just had AKO. As active duty; I had a local exchange account in addition to my AKO. The purpose of this was to remove all those local e-mail exchange servers and use a more robust e-mail application that will afford a servicemember to keep his e-mail whenever he/she PCSed. Plus, you will get 2GIG of storage space compared to just 50 megs on local exchange servers without an exception. You no longer have to go to your local S6 to get your accounts disabled when you PCS.

                          At Carson, I still have to apply for a local network login account but when my profile is activated; my outlook e-mail is configured with my DISA email account. I like my AKO because I like to keep to receive some personal e-mails to a .mil account. I strictly prefer to keep my DISA e-mail for professional correspondence and away from spammers but still get spam e-mail.

                          When I was in Afghanistan; my e-mail was from a local email exchange server (afghan.swa.army.mil).

                          Yes, the purpose of this as well was to have a GAL so now you can locate other servicemembers in other branches as well.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: AKO Email Now Requires CAC Access

                            Originally posted by Polo08816 View Post
                            This is all good and dandy, but if it is not usable at the end-user level, what good is it? The point is that I want to be able to access email at any time and be able to send an email at any time. The majority of M-day soldiers that I know barely have a functioning CAC. This change makes AKO/DISA email completely irrelevant as they cannot use a standard email client such as Gmail to handle basic email functionality. It's a complete step backwards in terms of productivity to the point that most will simply elect to use a non-government email to handle military business.

                            Government is probably the only place where you can design such a poor system and still have a job. If you even suggested a design as flawed as this where I work, you would be laughed at and told to leave and get it together.
                            I must agree. Accessing my AKO email from my cell phone was essential for me to use it. I cannot install a CAC reader and software at work, and I barely use my home PC anymore, I would have to fire it up once a day just to check email from now on, and I can easily see me going a few days without checking. Many of my fellow M-day soldiers only log in with a CAC at most once a month at drill, and they have several hundred emails sitting in their inbox, unread. If we were moving to a platform that was MORE accessible it would make more sense.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: AKO Email Now Requires CAC Access

                              Originally posted by Polo08816 View Post
                              Does "Beta mail" (I presume: https://mail.beta.army.mil/) resolve the issue of being IMAP/POP3 compatible? That is the real issue. I want to be able to receive my AKO emails anywhere from any device that has some email client that interfaces through IMAP or POP3. If I have to login using a CAC card web browser, then the frequency that I check that AKO is going to be at most a day.

                              I would presume that most M-day soldiers will not even bother with DISA/EE once this implementation is complete because in order to check an Army email, they will need their CAC card and a pint of virgin blood.
                              I use it with the latest version of Outlook on Windows 7 since some e-mail links are blocked within the Beta Mail Gui (without a copy and paste), you can open then up with no issue within outlook. Here is a militarycac follow through for configuration.

                              https://militarycac.com/files/AKO_Be...0_settings.pdf

                              Comment

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