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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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Unlocking Cellphones Should be Legal, White House Says

March 4, 2013 People should be able to “unlock” their cellphones so they can use them on whatever carrier’s network they want, the White House said Monday in response to a popular petition posted to its We the People website. The petition asking the government to re-legalize unlocking cellphones is one of fewer...

White House Seeks Transparency Advice on Quora

March 1, 2013 The Obama Administration is gathering advice on where it should focus its transparency efforts in the short term using the social site Quora. In the lead so far is making federal agencies stop using proprietary publishing formats such as PDFs in favor of formats from which people can easily cut...

Open Source Software is Common at DHS

February 28, 2013 The government should not have an “open source first policy,” Homeland Security Department Chief Information Officer Richard Spires said Wednesday, but added officials should look to open source technology whenever possible. Spires was speaking at a hearing on the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act, which industry groups have charged...

Coming in March: Biggest Fed IT Acquisition Overhaul Plan Since 1996

February 27, 2013 This story has been updated. House Oversight Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., plans to introduce legislation to overhaul the way the government buys information technology by the time Congress breaks for its spring recess in late March, he said during a hearing Wednesday. Issa first floated the proposed IT reboot...

Government Map Site to Get Springtime Upgrade

February 25, 2013 The government plans to re-launch the 15-month-old federal map sharing website Geoplatform.gov this spring with a new set of user communities similar to those on the government data repository Data.gov, an official said Monday. The user communities will be organized into 17 themes outlined by the Office of Management and...

Sequestration Could Hurt Research on New Data Analysis Tools

February 25, 2013 Among the cuts the White House highlighted in a state-by-state breakdown of the likely effects of sequestration is about 1,000 fewer research grants that will be issued by the National Science Foundation. Those lost grants would affect the work and livelihood of about 12,000 researchers and graduate students, the White...

White House Will Respond to Petition to Re-legalize Unlocking Cellphones

February 21, 2013 Just under the wire, a We the People petition seeking to reverse a decision that made it illegal to “unlock” cellphones has crossed the barrier for a White House response. Unlocking a cellphone allows it to be used on a wireless network other than the one that originally sold it....

New GSA Offering Could Avert the Next Conference Scandal

February 20, 2013 The General Services Administration is considering building a menu of contractors offering services that can help agencies avoid the sort of conference spending scandals that rocked GSA itself in 2012, according to solicitation documents posted Tuesday. Contractors listed on the menu would help centralize agencies’ conference and meeting spending in...

GSA Releases Guidelines to Measure Social Media Impact

February 19, 2013 The General Services Administration released new guidelines for how to measure federal agencies’ social media engagement Tuesday that aim to move beyond raw counts of Twitter followers and Facebook likes. The agency also released a new application programming interface, or API, that will allow people to create customized social media...

We the People (of the World)

February 19, 2013 An interesting side note to the White House’s experiment in digital engagement, We the People, is that the petition site has proved as or more popular among non-Americans as among the “people” of its title. Japanese and Korean citizens took to the site in 2012, for example, to air a...