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Aliya Sternstein

Senior Correspondent

Aliya Sternstein reports on cybersecurity and homeland security systems. She’s covered technology for more than a decade at such publications as National Journal's Technology Daily, Federal Computer Week and Forbes. Before joining Government Executive, Sternstein covered agriculture and derivatives trading for Congressional Quarterly. She’s been a guest commentator on C-SPAN, MSNBC, WAMU and Federal News Radio. Sternstein is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.

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Government withholds details on contract to redesign Recovery.gov

July 10, 2009 The redesign of the official stimulus-tracking site Recovery.gov so far has produced more secrecy than transparency, according to some project management specialists and open government advocates. Observers criticized the General Services Administration, which on Wednesday announced it had awarded Hollywood, Md.-based Web services provider Smartronix a contract to upgrade the...

Pixel by Pixel Budget Cuts

July 9, 2009 President Obama goes "line by line" through the federal information technology budget on IT.USASpending.gov to ensure taxpayer dollars are used wisely. The new visualization tool, known as the "IT Dashboard," is the brainchild of federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra. It strives to enliven and elucidate esoteric IT contracts for...

Recovery board to provide public with original stimulus data

July 8, 2009 The board responsible for overseeing stimulus spending said on Wednesday that the public would have access to the same machine-readable data that updates Recovery.gov, a functionality that open government activists have been seeking. But public watchdogs and federal auditors raised concerns that the data might be flawed. Federal reporting rules...

Social media could frustrate diplomatic efforts, online researchers say

July 8, 2009 Web-based tools such as blogs and the social-networking site Facebook could interfere with diplomatic outreach efforts, said new media specialists on Tuesday. "The role of diplomacy given social media is going to be more complicated than it used to be," said Robert Faris, research director at Harvard University's Berkman Center...

from govexec

From Nextgov.com: Social media could frustrate diplomatic efforts, online researchers say

July 8, 2009 Web-based tools such as blogs and the social-networking site Facebook could interfere with diplomatic outreach efforts, said new media specialists on Tuesday. Read the full story at Nextgov.com

Where's the (Infected) Beef?

July 7, 2009 The administration on Tuesday announced long-desired steps that agencies will take to help repair the beleaguered food safety system, including the creation of a nationwide trace-back system to more quickly identify the food-source of an outbreak. The new executive branch actions are a response to a spate of food safety...

This time, White House receives kudos for participation

July 7, 2009 An advisory council report on health care research released last month by the Health and Human Services Department marks an exception to the White House's closed-door decision-making on how to spend stimulus funds, which critics said run counter to the president's pledge to bring transparency, public participation and collaboration to...

Officials weigh cost of transparency, with an eye on technology's role

July 6, 2009 President Obama often refers to the clear-cut benefits of striking a healthy balance between transparency and national security, such as upholding the Constitution. More ambiguous are the financial savings derived from increased transparency. In fact, even some open government proponents say Obama's transparency agenda may initially cost taxpayers more money....

Cyber Town Hall Falls Back To Earth

July 1, 2009 President Obama on Wednesday fought for his health care agenda and electronic medical records during an online town hall that was streamed from Annandale, Va. But those in the room may have had the biggest impact on the conversation. In a departure from past Q&A sessions with netizens, the president...

Web site offers glimpse of how IT projects are performing

June 30, 2009 Federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra on Tuesday unveiled a public Web site aimed at showing correlations between taxpayer dollars and the performance of federal information technology investments. The IT dashboard was prompted in part by a pending transparency bill and represents an effort to address shortcomings in USASpending.gov, a...