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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Ashkan Soltani, the former CTO at the Federal Trade Commission who joined the White House in December to advise U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith, is stepping down after being denied a security clearance. Soltani played an active role in the Washington Post’s reporting on the National Security Agency surveillance programs leaked to the media by Edward Snowden.

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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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The Data Transparency Coalition is changing its name to Data Coalition and opening a new research center as it gathers steam to push to standardize and publish all government information as open data.

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The State Department’s Office of U.S. Foreign Assistance Resources has redesigned its main Web portal for making data on U.S. government foreign aid available to lawmakers, international aid organizations, and the general public. But a major effort is underway to improve the quality of the data collected and the site’s analytics capabilities.

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FedRAMP Fast Forward, a Federal IT industry advocacy group, today published a six-step plan to reform and improve the cloud security certification process known as the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP).

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Shawn Kingsberry, who led the first Federal technology system, Recovery.gov, to the cloud, will head Unisys Corporation’s global government practice division. Kingsberry will provide guidance to Federal clients as they transition from manual and analog processes to digital government techniques.

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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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Will the Federal government’s embrace of Silicon Valley actually achieve anything of importance? In a column published in Federal Computer Week, Cisco Systems executives Alan Balutis and Stuart Robbins raise concerns about a government partnership with Silicon Valley that is in danger of producing little more than a few new shiny apps and websites.

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A MeriTalk survey finds that Federal agencies are in need of an efficiency jump-start, and 78 percent of Feds believe DevOps will help agencies innovate faster responses and services. Legacy systems are slowing agencies down, and new apps just add to the inertia.

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Federal agencies could save $40.7 billion in annual productivity by switching from legacy voice systems to a Unified Communications solution, a new MeriTalk survey found.

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To help agencies better understand the potential that big data holds for the larger Federal enterprise, MeriTalk chats with Steve Totman, a big data technology evangelist with New York City-based Cloudera, and Webster Mudge, senior director of technology solutions at Cloudera.

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The 34-page Protected Health Information (PHI) Data Breach Report analyzed 392 million security incidents and 1,931 data breaches, including breaches at the Department of Health and Human Services and a “significant number of records” from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

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Up against a cyber wall in recent terror attacks, the intelligence community is turning to Magnet Forensics, a Canadian company with software that can recover key digital evidence left by terrorists on cellphones, smartphones and tablets. The intelligence community’s venture capital arm In-Q-Tel on Thursday announced it is investing in the digital forensics software developer […]

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The Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) will allow agencies to run and look like private sector organizations, panelists at MeriTalk’s FITARA Forum said. And that’s a good thing. “I think it’s wonderful that the government and the industry are collaborating and that the government is looking a lot more” like industry, said Jean […]

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A new Federal agency is in the works to take over the security clearance process from the Office of Personnel Management, according to former intelligence officials with knowledge of the discussions. Word of the plan to create a new National Investigative Service Agency comes as security officials this week are scheduled to brief leaders of […]

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Faster is better, and government acquisition could move much more quickly. That’s why companies are signing up for a new way to sell cloud products and services to Federal agencies. The General Services Administration (GSA) added a new special item number to IT Schedule 70 of the agency’s Federal Acquisition Service in June. With the […]

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Federal agencies and other organizations are increasingly relying on analytics to detect and stop fraud, but experts recommend they start with small projects and small data sets to pinpoint risk. Learn how the U.S. Postal Service, World Bank, General Services Administration, and IBM approach the use of big data analytics to prevent fraud in government. […]

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Should email and other personal electronic data be protected by the Fourth Amendment in the same way that a written letter or other personal effects are protected? This and other questions like it were debated today before the House Judiciary Committee. The hearing comes as HR 699, the Email Privacy Act, approaches a House vote. […]

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Army

The market for virtual reality headsets—like the popular gaming system known as Oculus Rift, or the many headsets that are now shipping with consumer drones—is poised for rapid growth starting this holiday season. In fact, Juniper Research estimates that global sales of VR headsets will hit 3 million next year and as much as 30 […]

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MeriTalk caught up with Murthy Mathiprakasam, principal product marketing manager for Informatica’s Big Data products, at the Nov. 19 Big Data Brainstorm in Washington, D.C. Although Federal agencies are sitting on a lot of data, a significant effort must be made to first prepare that data to be mined and analyzed. Listen to the podcast […]

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MeriTalk caught up with Department of Homeland Security Chief Privacy Officer Karen Neuman Nov. 19 at MeriTalk’s Big Data Brainstorm in Washington, D.C. Listen to the podcast.

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Just a handful of agencies have accounted for the nearly $2 billion saved by closing Federal data centers through the first five years of the program, according to scorecards distributed by Congress, and that trend is likely to continue. The Treasury Department, Defense Department, Department of Homeland Security, and Commerce Department saved a combined $1.652 […]

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