Geoff Whiting

Articles by Geoff Whiting

Communication tools expand scrutiny of foreign policy and diplomacy, says panel

The rising use of new communication technology is changing the balance of control and ownership of information among states and individuals, leading to increased monitoring of government diplomacy by individuals and other nations.

Federal social media gets accessibility toolkit

A new initiative is trying to improve the accessibility of social media content from the government for people with disabilities, starting with guidelines and training resources. The toolkit and other future deliverables will continually evolve and adapt to changes and suggestions and its HowTo.gov page has options for agency and public feedback.

Critical system vulnerabilities exist at Los Alamos

Critical and high-risk weaknesses exist in the national security systems and applications of Los Alamos National Laboratory says the Energy Department's office of inspector general.

Modular system development mitigates risk, says Werfel

Federal agencies should embrace modular development because it lessens the dangers of information technology project failure, said  Daniel Werfel, federal controller for the Office of Management and Budget. The biggest benefit to this type of development, said Werfel, is that if a project's goal changes or the initial goal becomes irrelevant, modular systems are a smaller investment and typically flexible enough to be adapted to new pursuits.

NASA plans laser communications in space

NASA wants to use lasers to send and receive instructions and collected information with its spacecraft across the solar system and has included this technology in its future development and funding plans. The agency has already had a successful lunar test of communication through laser pulses when it transmitted the Mona Lisa on Jan. 17 from Earth to a NASA satellite orbiting the moon.

Government should open up data for citizen-built services

The federal government should make its data available to the public so citizens can use the data to address their own needs and concerns, said panelists at a recent ACT-IAC event. Most data collected by federal agencies is public data and should be owned by the public once any personal information is removed and privacy is secured.

Shared services requires pooling information and lessons learned, say panelists

The development of shared services requires agencies to pool information and lessons learned, said panelists at a recent ACT-IAC event. Gwynne Kostin, General Service Administration's director at the digital services innovation center, said agencies would benefit from an online platform to share ideas and efforts because it would keep multiple agencies from having to repeatedly solve the same problems.

Open government requires usefulness not just data

Open government initiatives need to supply context with data they provide and gear that data toward uses the public would want, instead of simply supplying greater amounts of unparsed information, says the Center of Technology in Government.

Report: Pervasive surveillance undermines trust in government

Increases in surveillance can negatively impact the way individuals feel about government and even cause hostility among citizenry normally not likely to commit crimes, says the U.K. government's Foresight project. Surveillance may cause individuals to act compliant but that, historically, high levels of state surveillance has led many young citizens to become angry and subversive.

After bumpy start, VA says paperless claims transition will be smooth

The Veterans Affairs Department has begun a nationwide transition to paperless processing of disability claims at its regional offices and says it has addressed previous problems and slowdowns within the system. At the end of 2012, the VA had 900,121 disability claims in its backlog.