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House Passes Bill Requiring TSA To Disclose Changes To Its Tech Investment Plan

March 21, 2017 The House today passed legislation that would require the Transportation Security Administration to update Congress on any changes made to its 5-year technology investment plan. The Transparency in Technological Acquisitions Act of 2017, introduced by Rep. Kathleen Rice, D-N.Y., directs TSA to submit any changes to its strategic plan within...

Watch Out for Last-Minute Email Tax Scams, IRS Warns

March 20, 2017 With about a month left to file, the Internal Revenue Service wants taxpayers and tax preparers to be extra wary of any finance-related emails they receive. Leading up to the April 18 due date, last-minute phishing scams—attempts to solicit sensitive personal information from recipients—are reaching their peak, the IRS warned...

Is Trump's Budget an Opportunity for Contractors?

March 17, 2017 The White House revealed its $1.1 trillion skinny budget Thursday, slashing funding for many federal technology research and grant programs, including the Energy Department's R&D unit, the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy. It's less clear how the administration plans to address the federal government's internal information technology challenges. In the last...

Trump's 'Hard-Power' Budget Cuts Agencies, Shifts Research and Innovation to Private Sector

March 16, 2017 President Donald Trump’s budget proposal slashes funding for some federal agencies, eliminates offices and shifts research to the private sector, according to a budget blueprint unveiled Thursday morning. It also funnels more dollars into protecting national borders and cyberspace. The White House’s so-called skinny budget allots about $1.1 trillion to...

Lawmaker: Traffickers Might Use Drones To Smuggle Humans Across Borders

March 15, 2017 Lawmakers are torn between talking up the many ways drones could transform everyday life and worrying about the potential for misuse, a recent congressional hearing demonstrated. A Senate Commerce committee Wednesday asked unmanned aerial vehicles experts if they were aware of, or could prevent, a seemingly endless number of ways...

CIO Council to Agencies: Share Your Developer Platforms

March 14, 2017 Federal agencies should share the code for specific online functions such as identity verification or payment processing instead of constantly re-building them for each government site, according to a council of government chief information officers. Promoting application programming interfaces, or APIs, could help agencies cut costs, and government developers should...

Watchdog: DHS Isn't Ready for Social Media to Become a Bigger Part of Visa Screening

March 13, 2017 Congress has urged the Homeland Security Department to delve into social media accounts belonging to immigrants and foreign travelers before they're allowed to enter the country, but the department isn't ready to evaluate whether it would work. Following revelations that one of the shooters in the 2015 San Bernardino terrorist...

DHS Takes 'Corrective Action' on Agile Contract Experiment

March 10, 2017 The Homeland Security Department has reconsidered which companies are eligible to sell it agile software development services. DHS’ $1.5 billion contracting vehicle, called Flexible Agile Support for the Homeland, or FLASH, has removed two companies from the original 13 pre-approved vendor list. FLASH is an experimental contracting system, similar to...

IRS Took Down FAFSA-Autofill Tool to Prevent Identity Theft

March 10, 2017 An online tool that auto-filled tax data for federal student loan applications has been temporarily removed in an effort to stave off identity thieves. The Internal Revenue Service is suspending the "Data Retrieval" feature on its online Free Application for Federal Student Aid, meaning applicants will need to copy their...

Money Talks in Agency Cybersecurity, Former DOD Official Says

March 10, 2017 Cyber officials may feel pressure to prove how useful their programs are in thwarting attacks—especially when faced with unfunded mandates, one former Pentagon counterintelligence chief of staff says. A better solution would be to fund cybersecurity programs but ensure agency heads are accountable for their effectiveness, Keith Lowry, currently a...