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. […]

In a national security hearing on worldwide threats, FBI Director James Comey defended the FBI’s demands that Apple provide access to the phone of San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook.






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President Obama appointed two industry leaders to head his Cybersecurity National Action Plan. Tom Donilon, former National Security Adviser, will serve as the chairman of the committee and Sam Palmisano, former CEO of IBM, will serve as the vice chairman.






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Alongside the release of the proposed 2017 budget, the White House released its annual Analytical Perspectives of that proposal. MeriTalk spotted five important trends in the IT world and describes how the Federal government plans to address them.






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Encryption was a hot issue this week. FBI Director James Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee about the struggle of both counter-terrorism and law enforcement efforts in accessing information on encrypted devices, such as cellphones. And Reps. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., and Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, introduced the ENCRYPT Act as a means of combating the push for decryption.






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President Obama unveiled plans for addressing Federal cybersecurity issues, including a 35% increase in the cybersecurity budget. But Tom Kellermann, Chief Cybersecurity Officer for Trend Micro, worries that the plan is “completely insufficient” to address the cybersecurity needs of the nation.






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The White House is threatening to veto HR 1675 if it passes the Senate, after the House of Representatives passed the Small Company Disclosure Simplification Act that would not require most U.S. companies to file machine-readable financial statements.






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In a new report, the Government Accountability Office said some of the definitions provided to Federal agencies for reporting spending data under the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 are inadequate, and “could lead to inconsistent reporting.”






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A new report by the Congressional Research Service found flaws in keeping track of the size of Federal agencies, and noted that the Pentagon and Department of Homeland Security are having trouble recruiting and training cybersecurity professionals.






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The Veterans Benefits Administration is falling short in the way it is managing the progress of its Veteran’s Benefits Management System (VBMS), a system that was responsible for processing $63 billion in claims in 2014, Valerie Melvin, director of information technology at the Government Accountability Office, told the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.






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Sens. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., and Tom Udall, D-N.M., are planning to introduce the Cloud Infrastructure Transition Act, which is aimed at accelerating cloud adoption throughout the Federal government. Known as the Cloud IT Act, it is focused on reforming the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP), which has come under fire on several fronts.






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Cloud computing is catching on in the federal market almost as fast as in the commercial sector, according to a new report from the Cloud Computing Caucus Advisory Group released May 11th, at a Capitol Hill event featuring Caucus co-founder Rep. Gerry Connolly.






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Lawmakers this week will begin what could be a long debate over encryption and the role of technology companies, with people on all sides of the debate discussing the law enforcement and privacy implications of the controversial issue.






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Archaic rules are holding the Senate back from making better use of digital communication technologies, write Sens. Cory Booker and Claire McCaskill, in a letter to the Senate Rules and Administration Committee.






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Average IT spending growth has been down 1.5 percent since 2010, and Obama’s request is coming in high in hopes of ensuring he gets at least as much in 2016. Look for Congress to appropriate less than the president’s request, but more than the ceiling allowed by the four-year-old budget law.






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