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Former Budget Chief, On Why It Can Be Tough to Work for Government

December 26, 2013 Peter Orszag quit his government job. For three and a half years, he ran two federal budget agencies, and in 2010, he defected to Wall Street. Even though he thinks the government desperately needs more smart people, he has deep empathy for those who flee to the private sector. “In ...

NSA Connection Creates Credibility Problems for NIST Encryption Standards

December 4, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Department of Commerce is a big place. It's home to the National Weather Service, the U.S. Patent Office, and the Census Bureau. But following last summer's revelations about NSA surveillance of American citizens, one bureau has gotten more than its usual share of the media's attention: the National Institute ...

The 'Silent Majority' Overlooked by Big Data

October 8, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Like businesses and organizations everywhere, city governments are getting on board with big data. In particular, the New York City mayor’s office has embraced analytical tools. According to The New York Times, the city's Office of Policy and Strategic Planning processes a terabyte of information (the equivalent of about 143 ...

Why Cutting Science Funding Would 'Break' Cancer Research

October 4, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow As Congress continued its standoff over Obamacare and the budget, doctors and scientists on the other side of the country confessed that they’re worried about Washington. Siddhartha Mukherjee, the author of The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, was among those who spoke against the political shenanigans that ...

Mapping the 'Geography' of the Internet

September 10, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In case you didn’t know, muscle-car lovers have a thriving Internet community. Twitter users like @HookupMyRide and @CorvetteBlogger are among the chattiest sports-car enthusiasts, tweeting links and striking up conversations with other fans of fast cars. The influential drivers of the muscle-car blogosphere stick to what they like; they mostly ...

Can Twitter Chatter Get Obamacare Defunded?

August 30, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Buried deep in Twitter's archives, the first users of "Obamacare" symbolize a fundamental divide in the Twitter universe: @WSJopinion, the Wall Street Journal's opinion team, and @victoria_29, a lover of NASCAR from "God's Country-Texas." Do the @victoria_29s of the world have the power to affect national policies on topics like ...

SEC Chair Mary Jo White Is Edna Mode From The Incredibles

August 8, 2013 Mary Jo White's SEC is out to fight crime. This week, the Securities Exchange Commission and the Justice Department filed separate lawsuits in North Carolina against Bank of America and two of its subsidiaries, claiming that the company defrauded its investors when it sold them $855 million worth of "toxic ...

Unsexy Ways to Cut Defense Spending

June 27, 2013 Cutting jobs. Closing bases. Reducing health care benefits for service members. On a list of policies to reform defense spending, these would rank near the top in their potential to rub the American public the wrong way. But the hard truth, says former undersecretary of defense Michèle Flournoy, is that ...

Ex-Government Official: The Private Sector Is Threatening Your Privacy

June 21, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Former Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz spent a career advocating more thorough protection of consumer information from inquiring private sector eyes. So perhaps it's no surprise that even in light of the recent shocking revelations about government surveillance of U.S. citizens' phone andemail traffic, he thinks companies pose an ...