The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Attorney General on June 29, arguing that a section of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act unconstitutionally criminalizes research aimed at determining whether online algorithms result in discrimination against certain races, genders, and other minority groups.

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Visitors to the Department of Commerce’s website can receive a free tutorial on atmospheric rivers. Created with the map design platform Mapbox, this tutorial is one of nine available on DOC’s website and is part of the larger Commerce Data Usability Project.

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Big Data Project last spring transferred a big data set from Next-Generation Radar to the cloud platforms of Amazon, Google, IBM, Microsoft, and Open Cloud Consortium. Now, the members of NOAA’s BDP are trying to compile and present more big data sets in a clear and accessible way.

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The Department of Homeland Security on Monday announced a program called Exemplar, in which DHS employees with backgrounds in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics will work for a six-month period at a for-profit, private sector company. On Tuesday, DHS received its first application from one such company.

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An update to the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, specifically Rule 41, which could automatically take effect in December, is once again bringing up concerns of privacy and security in the digital world. “The changes in Rule 41 leave Americans […] more exposed to threats, and, of course, put at risk their liberty,” said Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. “Our lives are lived online; most of our most private information is stored on the cloud.”

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The Internet of Things will soon transform the way transportation and infrastructure operate in the United States, according to witnesses at the Senate Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety, and Security hearing.

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Small, remote Alaskan villages that are alienated from large power sources increasingly rely on microgrids as a practical energy solution. According to a blog post from Matt Erskine, deputy assistant secretary of the Economic Development Administration, Alaska stands as a leading pioneer in microgrid technology. […]

NOAA next month plans to launch the Deep Space Climate Observatory, a satellite equipped with a Faraday Cup plasma sensor and a magnetometer that measures the severity of space weather storms. This satellite will collect more accurate data than previous technology has offered on space weather.

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Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell this week announced an anti-fraud task force led by the Justice and Health and Human Services Departments executed the largest takedown of health care fraud in U.S. history, charging 301 individuals in 36 Federal districts for health care schemes equaling $900 million.

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The U.S. Forest Service used a Cessna 205 aircraft to discover that 26 million trees have died in California since October 2015. Instead of relying on satellite images or unmanned aerial vehicles, popular devices in today’s agriculture, the Regional Aerial Survey Program uses a more old-fashioned method of collecting data. […]

U. S. Customs and Border Protection is trying to forge new ties with technical-minded people working at startups. Earlier this month, CBP released two solicitations for the startup world, including one for K-9 wearable technology and another calling for enhancements for Global Travel Assessment Systems.

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Farmers are concerned about some aspects of the Federal Aviation Administration’s recent regulations regarding unmanned aerial vehicles. Robert Blair, vice president of agriculture for Measure, one of the nation’s leading drone operators, specifically addressed the regulation that states a UAV operator must fly his or her drone within a line of sight. […]

Columbus, Ohio, is the winner of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DoT) Smart City Challenge and will receive $140 million in new investment to further its initiative. […]

New investments in pathogen reduction devices may help reduce the risk of transmitting Zika via blood transfusions. The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response will help advance the development of two such reduction technologies.

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The Department of Homeland Security will be accepting proposals created in video format in addition to proposals created with the traditional method of written text. According to Russell Deyo, undersecretary for management at DHS, this new inclusion is an aspect of the department’s procurement innovation initiative.

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Not enough transit providers are taking advantage of Intelligent Transportation Systems, according to a Government Accountability Office study. “Most small urban and rural transit providers are not using other ITS technologies—such as automatic passenger counters or electronic fare payment—due to the cost of the technologies or because there is no perceived need,” the study said. […]

The Department of Energy announced on its website that it would supply its Technology Commercialization Fund with $16 million to bolster 54 projects across 12 national laboratories that aim to move energy technology from DOE’s National Laboratories to the marketplace.

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The 18 government agencies with high-impact systems constantly fend off cyberattacks from “nations,” which are groups of hackers sponsored by nation-states. According to a U.S. Government Accountability Office security report, these attacks pose the most serious threat to the security of these systems.

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Rules for drone use took flight on Tuesday after the White House released a set of regulations on the use of these unmanned aerial vehicles. The Federal Aviation Administration’s rules pertain to drones used for hobbies, although the administration also addressed future uses for commercial drones.

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States are beginning to feel neglected in the creation process of FirstNet, a broadband network intended to provide wireless communication for first responders, according to witnesses at the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet hearing. […]

The U.S. Energy Information Administration created a free software tool in which users can import data from the agency’s application programming interface into their own Google Sheets.

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An initiative is underway at the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory aiming to prevent hackers from gaining control of parts of the nation’s power grid, or Industrial Control System. As the grid gets smarter, threats increase, including damage to electrical equipment, local power outages, operational halts to production, and more. […]

In a review of its progress over the past nine months compared with the four years before that, the GSA released an infographic touting the increases in authorizations, re-uses, and use frequency of cloud service providers.

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The key to digital success and development in all levels of government is a strong and dedicated team of leaders, according to Deloitte’s director of government innovation William D. Eggers. “It really does rely on different levels of leadership,” Eggers said in an interview with MeriTalk. “Where you don’t have that leadership, it becomes much more difficult.” […]

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