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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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Administration says it will give industry and academia heads up on cyberattacks

January 18, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Obama administration will provide universities and businesses with government intelligence and law enforcement information about malicious Internet activities so that they can protect their critical assets, the president's cyber czar said on Tuesday. "I think we all recognize that the government has unique access to information," Howard Schmidt, cybersecurity ...

Project to digitize visa processing encounters roadblocks

January 18, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A program to computerize visa processing has run into management difficulties that could jeopardize operations at the Homeland Security Department's U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services bureau, according to the DHS chief information officer. Last week, the nonpartisan Brookings Institution think tank released a report counseling the Obama administration to reform ...

Homeland Security kills secure border tech program

January 14, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Homeland Security Department has killed its beleaguered $1.1 billion program to control U.S. land borders with a virtual fence made up of surveillance tools, Secretary Janet Napolitano announced on Friday, after briefing Congress on her review of the Secure Border Initiative network program. DHS officials had encountered major cost, ...

From Nextgov.com: Homeland Security kills secure border tech program

January 14, 2011 The Homeland Security Department has killed its beleaguered $1.1 billion program to control U.S. land borders with a virtual fence made up of surveillance tools, Secretary Janet Napolitano announced on Friday, after briefing Congress on her review of the Secure Border Initiative network program. Read the full story on Nextgov.com.

DHS IG Skinner to Leave Office

January 13, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Homeland Security Inspector General Richard Skinner, who has probed contractor waste at the department since its inception, announced on Thursday that he will step down March 1. Prior to his July 2005 Senate confirmation as IG, Skinner -- a four-decade veteran of the federal government -- had held the position ...

State official: WikiLeaks poses a threat to human rights

January 13, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow During a briefing Thursday on the declining state of civil liberties worldwide, including freedom of the press, a top State Department official said the publishing of diplomatic cables on the Internet has posed a threat to human rights. "Whether whatever you're reading is real or not, there is clearly a ...

Tracing Transparency

January 13, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow As the second anniversary of President Obama's open government initiative approaches, the overwhelming sentiment among citizens is that public officials aren't being frank with them. And if trust translates to transparency that means federal agencies haven't even come close to peeling back the onion, judging from their scores in a ...

Automation touted as central to repairing the immigration system

January 12, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The government can fix the immigration system without legislation, by automating visa processing and by granting priority to skilled workers, including technology professionals, over family members, according to a new report by the Brookings Institution. "The infrastructure for considering and granting visas needs a major upgrade," Darrell M. West, founder ...

Leahy Sets Cyber Privacy Agenda

January 11, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Sen. Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, on Tuesday unveiled an ambitious agenda for changing the country's privacy laws to keep pace with the digital age. The committee will continue where it left off last session in revising the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act to balance law enforcement's need ...

International cybersecurity treaty might not be achievable, report says

January 11, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow An international treaty to establish regulations for computer security might be unattainable, according to a new report by the EastWest Institute think tank. "It could take years to arrive at a global treaty on cybersecurity, since many states are not ready for it -- and perhaps never will be," concludes ...