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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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Industry group forms cloud commission to advise White House

March 2, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow An industry group with a record of shaping federal information technology policy has established a cloud computing commission to advise the White House on outsourcing more than $20 billion worth of IT services to the Web. TechAmerica Foundation on Wednesday announced that the board will be co-chaired by the heads...

CEO of Breached Security Contractor HBGary Federal Departs

March 1, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The chief executive officer of government security contractor HBGary Federal reportedly resigned this week, after hacktivists he had taunted leaked the security contractor's e-mail archives, including messages from personnel at the FBI, Homeland Security Department and other agencies. Internet activists that operate under the group name "Anonymous" allegedly infiltrated the...

Rules keep hackers from helping government, ex DHS head says

March 1, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Friendly hackers and other computer whizzes who could help bolster government's cyber defenses often are unable to collaborate with the Homeland Security Department because of outdated policies that Congress and the White House must reform, former DHS Secretary Tom Ridge said on Tuesday. Ridge, his successor Michael Chertoff and current...

Cyber Staffing

March 1, 2011 Official tracks qualified agency specialists to boost proficiency across the nation. Coordinating interagency efforts to train aspiring cybersecurity specialists, federal employees and the public on data protection is a tall order for Ernest McDuffie, the lead manager for the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education. Activities to promote safe Web surfing...

IG: Program to automate immigration processing is vulnerable to insider threats

February 25, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A Homeland Security Department inspector general this week released a report that found a struggling $2.4 billion project to computerize immigration paperwork lacks a strategy for protecting the system against insider threats. The Transformation program, which is supposed to digitize the current paper-based systems for processing visas and other authorization...

From Nextgov.com: Program to automate immigration processing is vulnerable to insider threats

February 25, 2011 A Homeland Security Department inspector general this week released a report that found a struggling $2.4 billion project to computerize immigration paperwork lacks a strategy for protecting the system against insider threats. Read the full story on Nextgov.com.

Chinese Government, U.S. Techies Agree on Anti-Spam Measures

February 24, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Chinese government and U.S. technology experts have agreed on specific measures to curb spam originating from both countries, says a researcher who coordinated bilateral talks. The recommendations include establishing protocols to separate legitimate messages from junk mail; educating consumers about the risk of so-called botnets -- infected personal computers programmed...

Microsoft and Google slug it out for agencies' cloud business

February 24, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Microsoft Corp. laid into Google for selling federal agencies unsuitable Web-based software at the company's annual government conference, as it squares off with the Web services behemoth to shape the future of federal cloud contracting. Curt Kolcun, Microsoft vice president for the U.S. public sector, briefed the media at a...

If government shuts down, bye-bye BlackBerry

February 23, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow If Congress forces the government to shut down, then agencies and employees might have to shut down office Web-based e-mail and power off BlackBerrys, according to federal law. The so-called Antideficiency Act prohibits agencies from accepting voluntary labor for services that are not essential -- vital to the protection of...

From Nextgov.com: If government shuts down, bye-bye BlackBerry

February 23, 2011 If Congress forces the government to shut down, then agencies and employees might have to shut down office Web-based e-mail and power off BlackBerrys, according to federal law. Read the full story on Nextgov.com.