News

When it comes to US government health alerts, people want the human touch

When it comes to being alerted to a national health emergency by the U.S. government, people want the human touch – even if it comes through the TV.

Spotlight: Border protection system lacks authority to use SSNs in system access

CBP had used the system to give users account access, creating a "HashID" of their SSN to provide identity management.

US intelligence community scored data on more than 96,000 'targets' last year

The U.S. intelligence community collected data on more than 96,000 "targets" last year under section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Security Act, or FISA, according to the annual transparency report released Monday by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Google gets access to millions of UK's National Health Service records

Google is getting access to a wide range of health care data through a data-sharing agreement between the company and the U.K.'s National Health Service, or NHS, according to a new report.

New tool digitizes feds' purchase forecasts, targets small-business users

The innovation team at 18F has created a tool to help the General Services Administration forecast the purchasing needs of federal agencies.

Kansas House votes to close private email loophole for open records

A new bill working its way through the Kansas legislature would stop state officials from hiding behind their private email accounts in order to avoid making records public.

Secretive spy court brings new meaning to term 'rubber stamp'

According to a report by Reuters, based on a Department of Justice document it obtained, the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court approved all of the electronic surveillance requests from the U.S. government in 2014 and 2015.

Spotlight: Treasury publishes data format for federal spending

In a long-awaited release, the Treasury Department on Friday published the final schema for its federal spending data format on the Federal Spending Transparency GitHub portal.

Category management gets pushback on Capitol Hill

In a letter to GSA administrator Denise Turner Roth earlier last month, Reps. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) and Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.), the chairman and ranking member of the Small Business Committee, respectively, questioned the implementation of Category Management and the impact it would have on small businesses.

NTIA toolkit to help communities develop, implement broadband roadmaps

The Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration has created a toolkit providing technical assistance for states, cities and other communities trying to launch or expand broadband access.

NIST launches effort to develop cryptography that can secure data in a quantum computing environment

The Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology launched an effort Thursday to study the effects of quantum computing on encrypted data and how to develop "quantum-resistant" cryptography.

Supreme Court eases restrictions on federal hacking authority

The Supreme Court on Thursday quietly approved a change to Rule 41, which could give the Federal Bureau of Investigations the authority, if granted the right warrant conditions, to hack any computer or network anywhere in the world.

Spotlight: DHS to hold cyber hiring fair this summer

The Homeland Security Department is finishing up plans to hold an IT and cybersecurity job fair in Washington, D.C. in June or early July.

Border security agents: Build a 'virtual wall,' not an actual one

Donald Trump's proposed border wall has never been considered the most practical policy option, but according to a new Reuters report, even the border patrol agents on the ground have no desire for one.

Senate, House mull contrasting FOIA reform bills

A recent Congressional Research Service report compared and contrasted two Freedom of Information Act reform bills that are working their way through Congress.

FBI says it can't disclose details for iPhone hack to Apple because of third-party rights

The Federal Bureau of Investigation does not plan to disclose information about how it hacked into the iPhone of the San Bernardino shooter to Apple, according to Amy Hess, the FBI's executive assistant director for science and technology.

Spotlight: After landslide House vote, Senate pressured to take up email privacy bill

The House of Representatives passed the Email Privacy Act 419-0 yesterday, and now elected officials in both chambers are putting pressure on the Senate to take up the bill.

New Mexico's Alamogordo ponders joint PSAP as feds push nationwide NextGen911 network

Officials in Alamogordo, N.M., are trying to work out funding and other details for consolidating a public safety answering point, or PSAP, to manage 911 calls for the city police and fire departments and the county sheriff's office, the Alamogordo Daily News reported.

Transparency questions follow revelations about lead levels in South Carolina's water

The government in Flint, Mich., is not the only one whose transparency policies are in question after high lead levels were found in drinking water. South Carolina is also under scrutiny after its water regulatory agency told the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that it didn't have data on lead sampling results and the location of lead service lines, a news report shows.

FOIA 'still interested letters' have uncertain effect on requesters, report finds

Sending a so-called "still interested letter" to someone who requested responses under the Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, has an uncertain effect, an analysis by the Office of Government Information Services found.