FITARA Fault Lines My Capitol Hill listening post has picked up several encrypted messages from the Government Accountability Office suggesting that the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act may be widening some major fault lines across government. While the law was designed to strengthen the role of the chief information officer, the Situation Report has […]

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Creepy Data It’s no secret that my D.C. network of informants are concerned about the future of the Internet of Things and the potential for major tears in the social fabric if policy does not keep pace with technological development. But some members of the D.C. network have started sounding the alarm over China’s use […]

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It has been 15 months since the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act was enacted and relatively few Federal agencies have taken meaningful steps to integrate the letter and spirit of the law into their day-to-day functions. Sure, there’s been a lot of talk. But when it comes to bridging the FITARA gap—the chasm between the Federal CIO and the rank and file—little has been achieved.

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The Commerce Department is looking for a Deputy CIO and a CTO. … Andy Purdy, the former acting director of the Department of Homeland Security’s National Cyber Security Division who recently became the chief security officer of Huawei Technologies USA, is now the vice chairman of the Open Group Trusted Technology Forum. … And the FedRAMP Program Management Office held a very efficient all-hands meeting.

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Former NSA Director Michael Hayden’s new book, Playing To The Edge: American Intelligence In The Age Of Terror, raises tough questions about the Obama administration’s lack of support for the agency following the Edward Snowden revelations. Also, the GSA’s in-house innovation lab, known as 18F, is expanding its consulting services. But is that somehow crossing a line?

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Apple CEO Tim Cook has vowed to fight Uncle Sam’s request that the company create software that would help the FBI circumvent the security protections on the iPhone used by one of the terrorists in the December massacre in San Bernardino, calling the step “too dangerous.” Also, there’s buzz around the Department of Homeland Security’s social media monitoring.

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The Obama administration’s last budget before leaving office landed this week with a loud thud on Capitol Hill. And while the Federal IT community can’t stop talking about the big boost in IT modernization and cybersecurity, the reality is there might be a lot less there than you think.

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Follow The Money A recent audit of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ 2015 financial statements uncovered more than a few problems with the department’s balance sheets. According to the independent public accounting firm CliftonLarsonAllen LLP, the review of VA’s financial statements revealed continuing material weaknesses in the agency’s IT security controls. Although the audit gives […]

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Tipping Point @CyberCom My Fort Meade listening post has picked up strong signals that 2016 promises to be a crucial year in the development of U.S. Cyber Command. “You can tell we’re at the tipping point now,” said Admiral Michael S. Rogers, the commander of CyberCom and director of the National Security Agency, speaking Thursday […]

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The Situation Report has picked up strong signals from our Office of Management and Budget outpost that senior administration officials are “pissed off” at Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., for inserting language into the omnibus spending bill that passed in December. Alexander is responsible for inserting a paragraph into the omnibus spending package that granted the […]

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The Pentagon’s Defense Manpower Data Center may have problems with employees searching for their own personnel files on the Joint Personnel Adjudication System, a serious security concern. “Notifications will be emailed to users who have violated JPAS policy by querying and/or looking up their own record within the last 30 days as a warning to the user,” according to a notice posted to agency employees.

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The Situation Report has picked up on some disturbing reports that the Chinese may not have been alone when they hacked into the Office of Personnel Management’s network and made off with more than 21 million security clearance files. Also, attacks on FedRAMP are coming from four fronts.

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Welcome to the first installment of The Situation Report, a weekly column by MeriTalk Executive Editor Dan Verton that takes an honest and discerning look at the programs, policies, and people behind government information technology. When does a call to service cross the line and become an exercise in groveling at the feet of a […]

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