Staff at the US Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs have been unable to access the internet or use email for the past six years, according to a report in The Boston Globe.
The bureau had its servers shut down in 2001 as they were judged too insecure to be left online.
Security changes have since been made, but not enough to satisfy the authorities that it is safe to have the servers back up and running.
Bureau spokesman Gary Garrison told The Boston Globe that there had been rumours that they could have the servers back soon, but that no-one was getting their hopes up.
"After a while you just quit listening to them," he said. "It impacts our job. When we put out a news release we have to spend an hour and a half faxing to our list."
The bureau does have a computer room, with a few terminals connected to the internet so that staff can look up information. There is also a web page where some news is published.
The lack of modern communications is severely hampering the work of the bureau, which has been criticised since its inception for badly managing the affairs of native Americans.
US Indian Affairs Bureau stuck in pre-internet age
By Iain Thomson on Jan 21, 2008 7:16AM