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Joseph Marks

Staff Correspondent

Joseph Marks covers government technology issues, social media, Gov 2.0 and global Internet freedom for Nextgov. He previously reported on federal litigation and legal policy for Law360 and on local, state and regional issues for two Midwestern newspapers. He also interned for Congressional Quarterly’s Homeland Security section and the Associated Press’s Jerusalem Bureau. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s in international affairs from Georgetown.

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The Google-Apple Map Wars: An Open Gov Data Case Study

June 22, 2012 My colleague over at The Atlantic, Megan Garber, has an interesting piece about Google’s drive to retain its position as the nation’s default mapper and not go broke in the process. The search giant is scaling back its plans to charge some major users of its mapping tools, such as ...

Digital strategy group works on 'bring your own device' guidelines

June 22, 2012 A cross-government team is developing guidance for policies that will allow employees to use their own smartphones and tablets for work, federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel said in a blog post late Thursday. The Digital Services Advisory Group also is working on agencywide governance models for digital services. The ...

League of Women Voters Lashes out at We the People Petition Response

June 20, 2012 Perhaps it was inevitable when the Obama Administration launched its We the People online petition site in 2011 that the administration’s responses to petitions would draw the ire of pissed off pot smokers and online poker enthusiasts. The administration’s most recent response, however, drew the ire of a more powerful ...

Government Data Creates All Kinds of Awesomeness

June 20, 2012 A chief selling point of the government’s open data drive is the slew of profit-making Web and mobile applications private sector entrepreneurs can build with raw government data. Federal officials haven’t named many concrete examples, though, of how entrepreneurs have actually used government data except for the go-to examples of ...

No one knows how much energy older federal data centers use

June 20, 2012 One barrier to gauging progress in the government’s data center consolidation effort is the fact that federal agencies aren’t measuring energy costs for some smaller data centers. The Navy has begun a program to place special energy meters outside data centers that occupy full buildings, said Robert Harden, who works ...

Data center goals depend on other programs’ success

June 19, 2012 The government’s ability to reach its goal of saving $5 billion by consolidating and shuttering agency data centers will ultimately depend on two other information technology initiatives, an industry official said Tuesday: the shared services strategy and Portfoliostat. Unless those other programs -- both aimed at reducing and rationalizing the ...

We the Which People?

June 19, 2012 President Reagan used to tell this joke: A Russian and an American are arguing about their countries’ relative merits and the American brags that he can walk into the Oval Office, “pound the president’s desk and say, ‘Mr. President, I don’t like the way you’re running our country.’” [Apparently White ...

Government Requests for Google User Data Rise

June 18, 2012 U.S. government requests for Google user data grew 6 percent between the first and second half of 2011, the search giant reported. There were 6,321 requests for Google user data from U.S. federal, state and local governments between July and December 2011, up from 5,950 such requests during the previous ...

The Vatican Makes a Bid for Top-Level Domain Status

June 15, 2012 The Catholic Church is sometimes accused of being out of touch, but there’s one area where it’s on the cutting edge. Among the nearly 2,000 requested new generic top-level domains revealed by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers Wednesday is .catholic, requested by the Pontifical Council for Social ...

White House issues guidance on modular IT development

June 15, 2012 The White House issued new guidance Thursday that focuses on replacing the multiyear “grand design” approach that agencies typically use to implement large information technology projects with a more incremental model. The Contracting Guidance to Support Modular Development springs from the 18-month-old 25-Pont Implementation Plan to Reform Federal IT Management. ...