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Joseph Marks

Senior Correspondent

Joseph Marks covers cybersecurity for Nextgov. He previously covered cybersecurity for Politico, intellectual property for Bloomberg BNA and federal litigation for Law360. He covered government technology for Nextgov during an earlier stint at the publication and began his career at Midwestern newspapers covering everything under the sun. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Wisconsin in Madison and a master’s in international affairs from Georgetown University.

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Moneyball Diplomacy

June 7, 2013 When violence spiked in Nigeria’s conflict-ridden Delta region in 2008, the government launched an amnesty program, offering to protect militants from prosecution and pay for their arms if they’d lay them down. It seemed like a reasonable approach and one that might work. But when the U.S. State Department’s Bureau...

Do We Need a Data Court?

June 7, 2013 The complex information, security and privacy issues brought to the fore by recently exposed National Security Agency programs to mine telephone and Internet data might best be handled by a special “data court,” the Economist magazine’s Data Editor Kenneth Cukier said Friday. That’s because data, metadata and privacy issues can...

Government Performance Site Failed to Follow Its Own Advice

June 6, 2013 A government website designed to track whether agencies are making the best use of their resources has failed to follow some best practices of its own, an auditor said Thursday. A 2010 law directed the government to make agency performance information readily available to Congress and the public through a...

The Government’s Hurricane Sandy Pages Play by Play

June 4, 2013 With its satellites, scanners and links to local officials, the federal government is often the best source for trusted information during a hurricane, tornado or other natural disaster. Just having important information doesn’t mean much, though, if the public can’t find it or is too confused to do anything with...

Google Tells Feds How to Get Emergency Info to the Top of Search Results

June 4, 2013 Offering relevant information in open, machine-readable formats may be the most important thing government can do to keep the public informed during a natural disaster, Google and other technology leaders told members of Congress Tuesday. When a natural disaster such as 2012’s Hurricane Sandy hits, federal, state and local government...

Smart Disclosure Makes Consumers Happier and Markets Better

June 3, 2013 The government collects reams of information that might benefit citizens, but just opening that data up to the public isn’t enough, according to a task force report released Thursday. Federal agencies should tag any public data releases that might benefit people so consumers and intermediaries such as smart buying applications...

New Program Will Help Agencies Manage Mobile Devices

May 30, 2013 Agencies looking for tools to securely manage their mobile devices and applications can now choose from among a slate of vendors screened by the General Services Administration, the agency said Thursday. GSA’s Managed Mobility Program offers tools that allow agencies to remotely monitor thousands of cellphones, smartphones, tablets and mobile...

Cell Providers Must Bounce Back 911 Texts That Don’t Go Through

May 29, 2013 It’s not universal text-to-911 capacity, but it’s a step in the right direction. The Federal Communications Commission published a final rule on Friday requiring wireless phone providers to send automatic bounce back messages to people who send a text message to 911 in an area that doesn’t support the service....

What Will the App Developers Make of This?

May 29, 2013 Some federal agencies have gone above and beyond U.S. Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel’s May 2012 call to open as much of their data as possible to private sector entrepreneurs, according to a Nextgov analysis. Other agencies have barely met minimum open data requirements. The government released a catalog last...

from govexec

Tech Roundup

May 28, 2013 Transparency Moves President Obama’s fiscal 2014 budget proposal transfers control of USAspending.gov, the spending transparency website, from the General Services Administration to the Treasury Department. The administration plans to give Treasury $5.5 million to manage the site, previously bankrolled by the congressionally mandated e-government fund, which is devoted to using...