The Secret Service has an interesting class photo….The CIA is taking cues from the advertising technology industry….IARPA is investing in research into homomorphic encryption—a potential game-changer in the worlds of privacy and security that enables encrypted queries of encrypted databases….And synthetic biology is keeping Jason Matheny up at night.

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The storm clearly has not passed for some big programs run by the General Services Administration, including FedRAMP’s spending of $150,000 in taxpayer money to duplicate an online dashboard capability that had already been developed in the private sector and made available to the government for free….Also, Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, is back with another bill aimed at IT modernization.

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The Situation Report has the benefit of an intelligence collection network that is reporting some interesting twists and turns in the White House’s finally completed search for the government’s first Federal CISO.

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The Pentagon’s latest buzz phrase is Identity Activities, which means the Pentagon wants to employ data analysis tools that will leverage biographical, biological, behavioral, and reputational data inputs to help the military determine the identity of a person they encounter on the battlefield and whether that person poses a threat.

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The TSA last week discovered in a carry-on bag a loaded gun that was constructed of parts made with a 3-D printer….The Veterans Administration is actively pondering what it will require to manage transitioning from its legacy electronic health record, known as VistA, to a commercial EHR….And who’s keeping track of that teleworking equipment at the U.S. Patent and Trademark office?

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Bank regulations focusing on “too big to fail” have ignited a flurry of mergers and acquisitions in the financial industry, which in turn has created a legacy system vulnerability problem that may be responsible for the majority of data breaches reported to date….And over at DoD, as defense contract obligations reached record highs in 2008, the size of the acquisition workforce in the Defense Department actually shrunk.

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The Department of Homeland Security’s long-standing plans to reorganize the National Protection Programs Directorate to better deal with the growing threat of cyberattacks on national critical infrastructure may have received the boost it needed this week to obtain congressional approval.

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While some make excuses for Hillary Clinton’s email troubles, it is clear that Americans are not stupid and can see through absurd explanations that attempt to justify the reckless behavior of senior Clinton staff. And the same holds true for every other Cabinet-level official—Democrat or Republican—who put sensitive national security information at risk because of private email use.

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Federal CIO Tony Scott will again lay out his vision for the $3.1 billion IT modernization fund on July 14 at the Palo Alto Networks Federal Forum. MeriTalk has launched the #GreatScott campaign—an online petition to keep Scott in office through the transition of administrations. Scott’s presence and leadership may be the key to making the fund a reality….CIA’s investments could pay for that modernization campaign….At VA, confusion about what’s a medical device and what’s IT.

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Federal Chief Information Officer Tony Scott will soon announce his pick as the first Federal chief information security officer. Brian Burns is exiting as CISO at VA. Are these things related?…Speaking of VA, personal data has a way of being carelessly handled.

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NASA landed its newest spacecraft—the Starship Incredulity—at the Rayburn House Office Building and NASA CIO Renee Wynn had the audacity to report that not a single investment in the agency’s planned $731 million in technology programs is high risk….Get ready for another round of hard-hitting congressional questioning, this time about the government’s addiction to legacy IT systems that continue to drain billions of dollars of taxpayer money away from new investments and modernization accounts.

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There is concern that the U.S. Digital Service is filling its teams with techies who have been unable to divorce themselves from their former Silicon Valley mission of designing click-bait….Starting May 16, MeriTalk will begin publishing The Federal IT Papers—An Exclusive Insider Account of IT Decision-making Gone Wrong….And it’s no coincidence that GSA’s Superpublic Innovation Lab in San Francisco will be next door to the West Coast 18F.

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Remember that $7 billion Congress allocated to help establish a nationwide public safety broadband network, known as FirstNet? Well, when was the last time 50 states agreed on anything?…VA might be getting a new deputy assistant secretary for cybersecurity….If Congress eliminates polygraphs for security clearance holders, the result could be new business for the IT industry.

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A low-key change has taken place that sources say has shifted the National Institute of Standards and Technology Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity from a purely voluntary practice to a mandatory standard for Federal agencies….Reactions to the White House’s open source coding push….And grumbling about Silicon Valley imports.

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Department of Veterans Affairs CIO LaVerne Council has ordered VA CISO Brian Burns to “redirect his exclusive focus on VA’s role in the Interagency Program Office.” Council also tapped Ron Thompson to serve as interim VA CISO. … VA kicked off its 2016 Information Security and Privacy Awareness Week Speaker Series, but problems dogged the online chat and telephone dial-in.

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Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. (Photo: INSA)

It has become so tough for Federal agencies to find skilled technical talent that the National Security Agency is collecting resumes from “former civilian affiliates” who have the necessary skills, experience, and security clearance to help the agency “augment the existing work force on high priority projects or programs.” … A pilot program is underway to demonstrate the use of federated online identity technologies for use by hospitals and patients. … And DOD continues to make significant progress on its insider threat detection program and the intelligence community’s new continuous evaluation effort.

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