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Artificial Intelligence, Tech and Tequila: Come Hang with Us

By Frank Konkel // August 24, 2016

Brent Hofacker/

We’re hosting our sixth Tech & Tequila meetup Thursday on how government is dealing with artificial intelligence, from both the policy and practical use perspectives.

If you haven’t signed up yet, get to it and dress down; we’re hosting it at The Capitol View at 400’s open rooftop and the weather calls for sunshine and temps in the 90s.

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We’ll feature Lynne Parker, the National Science Foundation’s director of Information and Intelligent Systems division, which is located with the Information Science and Engineering directorate; Nishita Henry, technology strategy and innovation principal at Deloitte, and Reuben Sarkar, deputy assistant secretary for sustainable transportation at the Energy Department. 

Parker will sound off on the White House’s request for information regarding how the government ought to prepare for the future of AI. It has gotten hundreds of pages of comments from the RFI, and she’ll discuss them, as well as handle your questions.

Henry will discuss more practical uses of AI, such as enabling workforce productivity and improved virtual training. Think mechanics remotely fixing things using Google Glass and you...

Leidos’ Post-Deal Identity

By Frank Konkel // August 22, 2016


Leidos closed on its acquisition of Lockheed Martin’s IT business last week, nine months after the national security firm announced the deal and shook up the IT contracting world, proving size still offers significant advantages for contractors dealing with the federal government.

Through the acquisition, Leidos effectively doubled its size and diversified its customer base to include civilian government agencies, such as NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Social Security Administration, and commercial clients, according to the company’s SEC filings.

Leidos could “expand its footprint” in contract vehicles including the Veterans Affairs Department's Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology, the National Institutes of Health’ CIO SP3 and the Air Force’s Future Flexible Acquisition and Sustainment Tool, according to Deniece Peterson, director of federal market analysis for Deltek.

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By virtue of its acquisition, Leidos also gains prime access to several contracts it didn’t hold before, such as General Services Administration’s Alliant, SSA's Information Technology Support Services Contract and the Army’s Strategic Sourcing Contract.

“Looking at the federal business of each, this puts Leidos at the top of the...

Election Cyber Gaffes: Which Party's Has Been Worse?

By Frank Konkel // August 4, 2016

U.S. presidential candidates Donald Trump, left, and Hillary Clinton
U.S. presidential candidates Donald Trump, left, and Hillary Clinton // Mary Altaffer, Chuck Burton/AP

Still three months from the November presidential election, Democrats haven’t had a lot of fun in the cyber realm.

Arizona-based Identity protection services company IDT911 listed the top five cybersecurity gaffes this election cycle, and if you’re keeping score, Democrats are getting hit harder on the cybersecurity front.

The company-picked worst cybersecurity gaffe is undoubtedly the Democratic National Committee’s breach of 20,000 emails and documents – purportedly by Russian intelligence groups – that led to leadership changes before and after the Democratic National Convention.

Fallout from that breach continues, as does blowback former Secretary of State – and now Democratic nominee – Hillary Clinton’s use of private email while she served in President Obama’s cabinet. Clinton, an iconic texter and meme goddess, avoided prosecution for her use of private email but was nonetheless called “negligent” by FBI Director James Comey.

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Clinton’s campaign also found its way on the dubious list by asking potential running mates to hand over passwords for social media accounts belonging to them and their families, according to Politico. Handing over passwords to social media accounts followed by...

Nextgov Event: Enjoy a Cocktail and Talk Emerging Tech

By Frank Konkel // June 27, 2016

Brent Hofacker/

Emerging technology, agriculture, the intelligence community -- and cocktails.

Nextgov’s fifth Tech & Tequila meetup takes place tomorrow at Impact Hub DC, and if you’re a fan of any of the above topics, you might want to sign up.

Nextgov will host its latest meetup on emerging technology, and tomorrow's short panels will focus on emerging technologies in play within the 17 agencies of the IC and on how nanotech and genetic research are affecting agriculture around the country.

We’ve previously covered cybersecurity, data, the internet of things and open source policies – now, it’s time to tackle emerging technology. Come get your buzz on with Nextgov and get ready to learn something.

Our panelists include:

  • Hongda Chen, national program leader for bioprocess engineering and nanotechnology, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Agriculture Department  
  • Sonny Ramaswamy, director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA
  • Graham Plaster, president and CEO,

Register here and follow along on Twitter with the hashtag #NGMeetUp

Box Rolls Out FedRAMP-Approved Government Offering

By Frank Konkel // May 6, 2016


West Coast-based tech company Box is set to expand its federal customer base thanks to a new offering, Box for Government, which received the government’s cloud computing seal of approval this week.

The new offering is Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program-accredited through a provisional authority to operate from the Defense Information Systems Agency.

With that authority, Box for Government can now serve civilian agencies at the FedRAMP-moderate level, as well as Defense Department customers with data designated as Impact Level 2 by DISA, which includes some public-facing data and private unclassified information.

The company is also working to meet the FedRAMP-high baseline and DISA’s Impact Level 4 data, according to a Box spokeswoman. That would allow Box to work with some of the most sensitive unclassified data the government hosts.

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"Box for Government will make it easier than ever for government organizations to deploy Box at scale, become more agile, and drive their digital transformation strategies forward,” said Aaron Levie, Box co-founder and CEO.

The process to get accredited was a lengthy one that began over a year ago and...