News

'Data deserts' could have negative social and economic impacts, warns paper

Data is increasingly seen as a valuable resource. But a new paper published by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation warns that if high-quality data collection regularly excludes certain individuals or communities then their problems could be neglected.

Data localization movement won't improve privacy, says Internet governance panel

Data localization and "technological sovereignty" movements have gathered strength in Europe and South America since the National Security Agency's surveillance programs became public knowledge. But it's a knee-jerk reaction to require that data reside within a country's borders and it doesn't necessarily ensure security or privacy, said Internet governance experts at a Sept. 19 New America Foundation event.

Census Bureau making changes to prevent data falsification despite being cleared of allegations

Separate investigations by Congress and the Commerce Department's inspector general this year led to the same conclusion that supervisors in the bureau's Philadelphia regional office did not instruct field representatives to falsify data nor did managers manipulate Current Population Survey data that could have had a measurable impact on the nation's unemployment rate leading up to the 2012 presidential election.

Army soldiers get a second life as avatars to help them become better leaders

Using the Emergent Leader Immersive Training Environment, or ELITE Lite software, soldiers can become virtual officers or non-commissioned officers interacting with other uniformed avatars as they deal with with situations, ranging from disagreements with superiors to sexual harassment.

Federal CIO steps down to bring tech expertise to Ebola response efforts

Federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel will be leaving his post at the Office of Management and Budget, said an Obama administration official speaking on background Sept. 19. VanRoekel will become the chief innovation officer at the U.S. Agency for International Development, where he will work with the agency's Ebola response team.

Feds to fund cross-agency privacy research

Privacy research is the next frontier to be tackled by the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development program. NITRD, the IT research and development program that encourages collaboration across federal departments, will formulate a National Privacy Research Strategy says a notice from the National Science Foundation.

Healthcare.gov privacy and security vulnerabilities unresolved, says GAO

Some security and privacy weaknesses that were part of healthcare.gov's initial deployment remain unresolved, finds the Government Accountability Office. While the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services has addressed some of the issues with the site, it hasn't fully mitigated all of them, says the watchdog.

NIST extends $3M in third round of online identity solution grants

The National Institute of Standards and Technology is awarding almost $3 million in its third round of grants to pilot real-world implementation of the White House's National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace, or NSTIC.

Digital citizen services should leverage integration, consistency and personalization, says report

"Improving services in government requires better coordination and integration across traditional organizational boundaries," says the Partnership for Public Service. "Citizens interacting with government should not have to understand and navigate a complex hierarchy of departments, agencies and offices to receive benefits or services."

Identifying regulatory gaps in big data difficult, says FTC panel

Once reserved for scientific studies, big data is now regularly used by corporations to analyze information about consumers -- and privacy experts say these emerging practices raise tough policy questions.

NSA chief dismisses scandal's impact, says agency 'fully compliant' with law

The National Security Agency surveillance charges brought by Edward Snowden have not negatively affected relationships with foreign counterparts, said NSA Director Adm. Michael Rogers. The corporate sector, nation states and foreign intelligence counterparts have not fundamentally walked away from the NSA, he added.

Chinese government hackers penetrated fed contractor systems 20 times, Senate probe reveals

In one year alone, hackers working for the Chinese government penetrated computer networks of U.S. Transportation Command contractors at least 20 times, the Senate Armed Services Committee revealed Sept. 17 after a year-long investigation.

Experts say cybersecurity legislation unlikely before fiscal 2015 begins

It's unlikely that Congress will have time to address cybersecurity legislation as the end of the fiscal year rapidly approaches, according to Former National Security Agency Director and retired Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden.

Federal shared-services online marketplace opens doors to public

A federal online catalog where government agencies can go shopping for services offered by other agencies has opened its doors to industry.

More than 3 million comments submitted to FCC as it rewrites open Internet rules

With a record three million comments and counting, the Federal Communications Commission officially closed the public comment period Sept. 15 on whether to allow Internet "fast lanes," in which faster service would be given to websites willing to pay for it.

FBI: Advanced searchable digital system of biometric, other data fully operational

The FBI said Sept. 15 that it's state-of-the-art digital system, which expands the bureau's identification capabilities for biometric and other types of data, is fully operational.

NIST offers help in securing printers, copiers, scanners from cyber intrusions

The National Institute of Standards and Technology recently released draft guidance pointing out the risks and vulnerabilties of such so-called replication devices, which increasingly also include 3D printers and scanners. Besides reminding people about potential cybersecurity problems, it offers advice on how such devices and information that's stored or transmitted can be better protected.

Paper explores impact of people's 'cyborgization' to surveillance, privacy laws

As people increasingly and constantly use cellphones, wearable computers and other devices – which, in essence, have become an extension of themselves – a new paper from the Brookings Institution explores the future impact to surveillance and privacy from this trending "cyborgization."

House overwhelmingly passes digital labeling legislation

The House on Sept. 11 passed by a 402-0 vote bipartisan legislation that promotes electronic labeling of devices rather than affixing or etching labels to equipment.

Wearable robotic suit would boost soldiers' physical performance, minimize injury

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is getting another step closer in its quest for a robotic suit that would help warfighters fight fatigue and stay safer.