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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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Agencies are cautious of software accessed online

January 16, 2008 The federal government is cautious about embracing an increasingly popular model of software that is now being sold by many of its information technology providers, agency officials acknowledged Wednesday at a conference on "software as a service." Referred to interchangeably as "hosted software," "on-demand software," or "subscription-based software," the product...

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EPA's move to 'modernize' libraries spurs concerns

January 15, 2008 In response to a congressional mandate that the Environmental Protection Agency restore closed libraries, the agency said it will proceed with modernizing its library network, leading some people to believe the EPA will not resume physical library operations. Molly O'Neill, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Environmental Information, issued a...

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Lawmaker predicts U.S.-China space race

January 11, 2008 A space race between the United States and China will emerge in the next five to 10 years and could jeopardize U.S. national security, a key House lawmaker said Friday. Floridian Tom Feeney, ranking Republican on the Science and Technology Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee, made the comment after the Congressional...

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Legal experts, labor leaders decry e-mail ruling

January 7, 2008 A recent ruling by the National Labor Relations Board that lets employers block employees from using company e-mail for "non-job-related solicitations" flies in the face of a labor law meant to protect democracy in the workplace, some professors argue. The decision arose after an employee at The Register-Guard, a daily...

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Federal tech spending gets more scrutiny

December 21, 2007 The comprehensive spending bill for the federal government in fiscal 2008 indicates that Congress is exercising more oversight and demanding more transparency of information technology contracts, an industry group leader said Friday. "It's too early to tell how good [the package] is for IT procurement," said Alan Chvotkin of the...

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Fewer connections could limit cyber attacks, agency official says

December 12, 2007 A Justice Department cyber-security official on Wednesday touted the government's strategy of reducing its number of Internet connections to 50 by June in order to reduce cyber vulnerabilities. The government's "Trusted Internet Connections" initiative, which was announced last month, will help protect information by shrinking the attack surface area --...

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NASA will check backgrounds despite criticism

December 7, 2007 NASA is going forward with what some are calling "invasive" background checks at all but one of its field centers despite ongoing litigation to end the process at that facility, NASA officials said Thursday. On Wednesday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in California heard arguments in the case...

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Tech problems hamper drug agency, report says

December 3, 2007 Severe weaknesses in information technology are hampering the Food and Drug Administration's regulatory role, with some computer systems unable to distinguish between different forms of common chemical compounds like salt, an advisory panel said Monday. "The IT situation at FDA is problematic at best -- and at worst it is...

from govexec

Panel eyes ways to enhance hospital communications

November 28, 2007 A diverse advisory committee representing the technology sector, healthcare community and all levels of government met Wednesday to hear from each other and outside officials on efforts to ensure that medical facilities can communicate with each other during disasters. The Commerce Department and FCC established the Joint Advisory Committee on...

from govexec

Courts offer libraries free access to e-records

November 20, 2007 For the first time, the U.S. court system is providing free access to its online court records at select libraries. Lawyers say that waived fees for the system known as Public Access to Court Electronic Records, or PACER, which typically costs 8 cents per search, will empower citizens who choose...