Microsoft Azure was selected for a FedRAMP pilot program that will establish a high-impact baseline for cloud-computing services. This essentially allows Federal agencies to move more sensitive data onto contracted cloud-computing services, enabling the sensitive data to operate on the more technically advanced level that is already possible for low-impact data. […]

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has released a proposal for regulations that would restrict the ways broadband service providers can use customer data. The goal is to give customers greater choice in how their data is used.






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Verizon Wireless and the FCC agreed on a settlement on the company’s use of “supercookies” in customers’ mobile Internet use. The supercookies, also known as Unique Identifier Headers, enable Verizon to identify customers and deliver targeted advertising programs to them.






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The Department of Veterans Affairs announced additional leadership and organizational changes throughout the Office of Information and Technology. Tina Burnette, the long-serving executive director for enterprise risk management, has been selected for the Senior Executive Service and will take over as executive director of the Field Security Service within the Office of Information Security.






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A representative of a Federal cloud computing industry advisory group filed a formal complaint this week with the General Services Administration’s inspector general alleging officials from FedRAMP issued veiled threats of retaliation against member companies that publicly voiced concerns about problems with the cloud security certification process.






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A “fireside chat” brought the heat to Capitol Hill on Thursday. Members of the Cloud Computing Caucus delivered a scathing review of the FedRAMP certification process, but also strong words of advice, to a roomful of Federal workers and private contractors at the Fix FedRAMP forum.






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To drive down Federal spending and waste, the Office of Management and Budget has released its official Data Center Policy, designed to streamline the process of reducing the number of Federal data centers. By 2018, 52 percent of Federal data centers will close.






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FBI Director James Comey endured tough questioning by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., on whether the FBI had pursued every alternative to accessing the San Bernardino shooter’s phone before going to Apple, which has challenged a Federal court order that would force the company to unlock the phone.






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The Joint Authorization Board branded ServiceNow with its coveted FedRamp Provisional Authority to Operate certification. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company has more than 100 U.S. Federal government customers.






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The U.S. and European Union agreed to a data privacy deal known as the Privacy Shield that would ensure greater protection of personal data moving across the Atlantic. The deal, which replaces the Safe Harbor Agreement, implements stronger regulations and repercussions in data exchange between the U.S. and Europe.






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Fight for the Future protesters gathered outside the FBI building in Washington, D.C., to stand against a court order that Apple create a program that would allow FBI officials to access the San Bernardino shooters’ phone. Apple CEO Tim Cook refused to comply with the order, creating a standoff between the company and the FBI.






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Donna Seymour, the outgoing chief information officer at the Office of Personnel Management, was forced out of her position under intense pressure stemming from the stalled nomination of Beth Cobert to be the agency’s director, a source close to the matter said.






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Arthur L. Gonzalez, the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for IT and the deputy chief information officer for service, delivery, and engineering since 2013, will resign from his post March 5.






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The Justice Department’s 35-page motion to compel Apple to comply with an earlier court order directing the company to assist the FBI in the San Bernardino mass shooting case presents a snappish point-by-point rebuttal of Apple CEO Tim Cook’s public refusal to cooperate with the government on the case.






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The U.S. Health and Human Services Department has begun its search for a new Chief Information Officer, two months after HHS lost its previous CIO, Frank Baitman, who worked to establish HHS within the 2014 FITARA guidelines.






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