The Government Still Uses Floppy Disks — Trump Wants To Change That

To help overhaul outdated technology, various tech executives were invited to the White House for the American Technology Council's first meeting.
Posted at 9:43 AM, Jun 20, 2017

The Department of Defense still uses floppy disks. 

That was just one revelation Monday about the state of the federal government's technology  — which President Donald Trump wants to overhaul. 

"Fifty years ago, our government drove the innovation that inspired the world and put Americans on the moon. Today, many of our agencies rely on painfully outdated technology," Trump said at an American Technology Council roundtable. 

Tech executives, including Apple CEO Tim Cook and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, visited the White House for the American Technology Council's first meeting.

Trump created the council in May with an executive order. Its purpose is to help modernize the federal government's technology. 

Beyond government technology infrastructure, the executives touched on artificial intelligence, computer science education and immigration. 

Some of the tech companies in attendance were major critics of the president's travel ban limiting visitors from some Muslim-majority countries. 

One person not in attendance was Tesla's Elon Musk. He stepped down from a number of White House advisory councils after a different controversial Trump decision — withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement.

Although the White House invited Facebook to attend the council's meeting, the company did not send a representative. A Facebook spokesperson told Axios "scheduling conflicts" were to blame.

The Obama administration also tried to upgrade the government's technology systems. In 2014, the former president created the U.S. Digital Service to help federal agencies with technology projects.