Biography for Zach Rausnitz
Zach Rausnitz is an Editor in the Government Publishing Group at FierceMarkets. He writes regularly for FierceHomelandSecurity, FierceGovernment and FierceMobileGovernment. He previously interned at the Washington bureau of BBC News, where he worked in the TV, radio and online divisions. While at Brown University, where he got a B.A. in English, he wrote for The College Hill Independent. He enjoys riding his bicycle and lives in Washington, D.C. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Articles by Zach Rausnitz
The GAO says that in a report it did not release to the public, it recommended in detail that the Internal Revenue Service take 30 specific actions on newly identified information security weaknesses. The problems are related to identification and authentication, authorization, cryptography, audit and monitoring, and configuration management, the GAO says.
To quickly share vast amounts of geospatial data on a natural disaster, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is seeking to develop a cloud environment to merge its data and processes. FEMA shares geospatial data with other federal agencies, state and local governments, the private sector, nonprofits and others, but it says in a request for information that it struggles to send and receive the data seamlessly.
The available research on social media use during disasters fails to account for the type of social media, says a report from the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism. START also says that existing research doesn't compare social media use during different kinds of disasters.
A team that tests federal websites for usability says in a Dec. 28 blog post that they found four main problems in 2012. In 2012, the HowTo.gov team conducted 26 tests on federal websites, intranets and other services. Six managed to make improvements within 30 days of the test, the blog post says: Search.usa.gov, FedRAMP, NASA's mobile site, Regulations.gov, OMB Max and SAM.gov.
Congress' unanimous opposition to oversight of the Internet in the International Telecommunication Regulations played a major role in the refusal of the United States and other countries to sign the revised ITRs at the Dec. 14 conclusion of a treaty-writing conference, said David Gross, a member of the U.S. delegation.
New rules that the Defense Department issued Nov. 21 to prevent collateral damage don't apply to cyber systems. The directive (.pdf), which exempts "cyberspace systems for cyberspace operations," covers autonomous and semi-autonomous weapon systems.
A draft of the executive order on cybersecurity has circulated in the Obama administration, but President Barack Obama himself has yet to review it, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Oct. 25. In the meantime, she said, the administration has reached out to the private sector and other stakeholders for their feedback about what the order should look like if Obama does choose to issue one.
FBI surveillance of people in the United States is under investigation by the Justice Department office of inspector general. Among other things, the OIG is reviewing compliance with the FISA Amendments Act of 2008's requirement to minimize the collection and retention of information about people in the United States.
The federal office that combats fraud in Medicare and Medicaid has begun to integrate its two predictive data models, said David Nelson of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. One automated system flags those healthcare providers most likely to commit fraud because of past criminal and financial issues, among other factors. Another system rates fee-for-service claims for their risk of fraud.
The system that collects biometrics at U.S. ports of entry has 825,000 instances where the same fingerprints are associated with different biographic data, the Homeland Security Department office of inspector general says. Most of problems in the system, called US-VISIT, come from data entry errors, but some are the result of fraud, auditors say in a report (.pdf) dated Aug. 13. Some people have tried to enter the country multiple times with different biographic data--one set of fingerprints in US-VISIT was associated with nine different names, nine different birth dates and 10 attempts to enter the country.