News

18F director warns of reliance on requirements for gov't IT

Too often agencies are blindly checking a list of requirements rather than really thinking through how the technology they acquire or develop will serve the user, said Greg Godbout, executive director of the General Services Administration's innovation lab called 18F.

TIGTA: IRS not ready to implement new tax-processing system

The Internal Revenue Service is making significant changes in how it processes tax returns, but a test of the system shows it's not ready for implementation, according to a recently released Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration report.

Top Obama administration official says FAR can be made to work

A senior Obama administration official acknowledged that federal purchasing rules are difficult to navigate, especially for information technology projects and services, but they're getting the job done – for now.

ACLU: Feds should investigate potential racial discrimination around online credit marketing

The American Civil Liberties Union wants the federal government to investigate whether companies are using big data to engage in racial discrimination around online credit marketing—and take action, if they are.

Army steps up recruitment for new Cyber Branch, says commander

The Army has stepped up recruitment for its new Cyber Branch, the first branch to be formed since the Special Operations Branch nearly 30 years ago.

National Weather Service suffers satellite data outage, potentially affecting forecast quality

The National Weather Service experienced a satellite data outage for more than a day last week, prompting the agency to issue a statement that the outage could potentially impact forecast quality.

Audit: Requirements, risk management issues snag IT system modernization at IRS

Insufficient project requirements, among other problems, are continuing to delay a now four-year-old Internal Revenue Service IT modernization effort, designed to help taxpayers resolve disputes with the agency, the internal watchdog finds.

Pentagon must carefully consider 'projected effects' from offensive cyber operations, new document says

If the Pentagon uses offensive military operations in cyberspace, it must first carefully consider "projected effects," including impacts on non-military and foreign policy areas, says a recently declassified military document.

White House launches API to make it easier for people to submit petitions

The White House recently launched the "write" application programming interface version of its petitions platform as a way for people to more easily submit signatures from other sites.

DHS report makes recommendations for greater open source software use in government

A report commissioned by the Homeland Security Department's Science and Technology Directorate says barriers to using and developing open source software must be addressed as IT budgets across government continue to tighten.

GSA eases search integration with Instagram, Fed Reg for gov't web managers

With a little help from the General Services Administration's digital search program, federal web managers can now expand search results on their agency and department sites to include results from their Instagram accounts and relevant Federal Register notices.   

FCC releases another 2.5M public comments on open Internet rulemaking

The Federal Communications Commission Oct. 22 released a second batch of nearly 2.5 million comments about its net neutrality plan that would permit faster Internet service for some websites willing to pay for it.

Isolate, control, manage hypervisor environments, says NIST

System administrators working at federal agencies and departments can minimize the risk associated with running virtualized machines on a single host computer, called a hypervisor, by isolating VMs, controlling access, and managing privileged operations and interactions, according to draft security guidance (pdf) issued by the National Institute of Standards and Technology Oct. 20.

Final NIST cloud roadmap sets 'action plans' for gov't cloud adoption

The National Institute of Standards and technology Oct. 21 published a final version of its U.S. Government Cloud Computing Technology Roadmap (pdf). The document lays out 10 requirements – each accompanied by "priority action plans" and target completion dates – necessary for cloud adoption by the federal government.

Auditors shine light on vulnerabilities in FDA computer network

Vulnerabilty testing of the Food and Drug Administration's computer network found several deficiencies that could potentially be exploited by attackers, but auditors did not gain unauthorized access to the network, an internal investigation revealed.

National Weather Service worker charged with allegedly stealing sensitive government files

Hydrologist Xiafen "Sherry" Chen was arrested Oct. 20 at at the agency's Wilmington, Ohio, facility after being indicted in U.S. District Court, according to the FBI.

FAA seeks commercial app to help manage and preserve digital forensic evidence

The FAA is seeking a commercial off-the-shelf application that will create a remotely accessible depository where digital media analysts can store digital forensic evidence and distribute forensic workload among geographically dispersed investigators, among other things.

White House directs agencies in consumer identity, financial protections

Federal departments and agencies were instructed to adopt the use of security-enhanced cards, such as those that use chip-and PIN technology "as soon as possible" in an Oct. 17 executive order signed by President Obama. Chip-and-PIN technology – which uses an embedded chip in credit, debit and other payment cards, in lieu of a magnetic strip, and a personal identification number – has greatly reduced financial fraud and identity theft in Europe.

ITU gets underway

Representatives from 175 countries will discuss topics such as Internet governance, online security and privacy, and the Internet of Things, as the United Nations' International Telecommunications Union, or ITU, kicked off three weeks of meetings Oct. 20 in Busan, South Korea.

FTC pushes big data considerations at multi-government conference

A meeting of the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners concluded Oct. 16, resulting in the adoption of several resolutions, including one focused on privacy and big data. During the event, Federal Trade Commissioner Julie Brill urged privacy representatives from several countries to draft specific solutions to address the discrimination, security and privacy implications of big data.