News

Spotlight: Even facial recognition software has a racial bias

Facial recognition software, which uses special camera algorithms to recognize and identify individuals, might have trouble recognizing African Americans, according to a post at The Atlantic.

Backlash from OPM hack could affect census response rate, official warns

Last year's breach at the Office of Personnel Management could undermine the Commerce Department's ability to conduct the 2020 census, said Rod Turk, Commerce chief information security officer, during a recent panel discussion.

California proposals would increase state government transparency

California's state government is considering two measures that aim to increase transparency.

White House puts the kibosh on encryption bill

A draft bill pending in the Senate would require device manufacturers to include encryption workarounds in their products for law enforcement access, but the White House declined to provide public support for the bill, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing unnamed sources.

White House cybersecurity commission to hold first meeting April 14

The Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity is scheduled to hold its first meeting on April 14 in Washington, D.C., at the Department of Commerce, according to a meeting notice in Thursday's Federal Register.

FBI chief admits hacking tool only works on a 'narrow slice' of iPhones

The tool that a third party provided to the FBI to hack into an iPhone used by the San Bernardino shooters only works on the specific model the shooter used – the iPhone 5c running iOS 9 – FBI Director James Comey said at a Wednesday address at Kenyon College.

Spotlight: 18F open sources 35 reusable projects

The General Service Administration's innovation arm 18F opened 35 reusable pieces of code yesterday for federal employees, government agencies, state governments or the private sector to use freely.

Clapper takes extraordinary step of asking intel chiefs to lead document classification review

In a recent memo, National Intelligence Director James Clapper took the extraordinary step of asking intelligence directors to be more active in the process of reviewing their classification guidance and removing obsolete security requirements every five years.

Klopp: SSA will become 'ridiculous' if it doesn't mine data to predict what customers want

The Social Security Administration needs to look at "transformative technologies" that anticipate customers' needs to avoid becoming technologically useless to its customers, according to the agency's CIO, Rob Klopp.

State Department wants to limit questioning in Clinton email lawsuit

State Department lawyers want a federal judge to limit testimony about Hillary Clinton's use of a private email account in 2009 while she was secretary of the department, according to news reports.

Spotlight: Texas hears testimony on improving cloud innovation

The Texas Department of Information is working to enable the state and local governments to buy cloud services directly from providers like AWS in order to reduce costs.

NTIA seeks public comments to improve federal role in IoT

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration, part of the Department of Commerce, issued a request for comment Tuesday to get public input about potential federal policy issue raised by the Internet of Things.

Pentagon doesn't have its ducks in a row when it comes to protecting US infrastructure, says GAO

When it comes to securing U.S. infrastructure, the Department of Defense doesn't have all its ducks in a row. That is the conclusion of a report by the Government Accountability Office issued this week.

ACLU sues Education Department for transparency into student loan collection policies

The American Civil Liberties Union and the National Consumer Law Center have sued the Department of Education under the federal Freedom of Information Act, seeking information about how it collects student debt, NewBostonPost reported. The parties filed the suit March 31 in U.S. District Court in Boston.

The few, the proud, the cyber Marines

The U.S. Marine Corps is taking the fight to the cyber domain. As part of a larger effort to improve the U.S. military's cyber force, the service recently launched its Marine Corps Cyberspace Warfare Group, or MCCYWG.

Stolen federal equipment puts sensitive data of millions at risk - again

Senate investigators expressed frustration with Obama administration officials following the theft of a laptop and portable hard drives from a federal building in Washington state.

Virginia governor inks bill that reverses state Supreme Court FOIA ruling

The law was introduced and passed by the state's General Assembly in response to the Supreme Court of Virginia's September ruling that government agencies could withhold entire records if they contained any information that was exempt from release under the state's Freedom of Information Act, reported the Virginian-Pilot newspaper.

CIA drops plan to destroy most email records

Facing widespread criticism, the Central Intelligence Agency has formally withdrawn its plan to destroy email records of most agency officials, the National Archives and Records Administration told the Federal of American Scientists.

Spotlight: Panama Papers leak may have been result of hack

The Panama Papers leak, one of the largest financial leaks of all time, might have been the result of a hack.

Open data gets meaningful through new MIT project

A new MIT project aims to make it easier to find interesting and useful data among all the information that federal, state and local government open to the public.