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Frank Konkel

Frank Konkel is the editorial events editor for Government Executive Media Group and a technology journalist for its publications. He writes about emerging technologies, privacy, cybersecurity, policy and other issues at the intersection of government and technology. Frank also runs Nextgov's Emerging Tech blog. He began writing about technology at Federal Computer Week and previously reported on local and state issues at daily newspapers in his home state of Michigan. Frank was born and raised on a dairy farm and graduated from Michigan State University.
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The Future of Intelligence Sharing Is Coming Together in the Syrian War

April 28, 2016 In August 2013, a chemical weapons attack in Syria’s capital, Damascus, killed some 1,500 civilians and left two sides – the Syrian government and the rebels opposing President Bashar al-Assad’s regime – blaming each other for the destruction. Within just nine days, that confusion ended when the White House released...

How the Intelligence Community’s IT Strategy Helped Link Assad to 2013 Chemical Weapons Attack

April 28, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In August 2013, a chemical weapons attack in Syria’s capital, Damascus, killed some 1,500 civilians and left two sides – the Syrian government and the rebels opposing President Bashar al-Assad’s regime – blaming each other for the destruction. Within just nine days, that confusion ended when the White House released...

Amazon Launches Cloud Marketplace for Spy Agencies

April 27, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Amazon Web Services last week went live with a classified version of its commercial cloud marketplace for the intelligence community, allowing spy agencies – led by the CIA – to evaluate and buy common software, developer tools and other products that meet stringent security standards. First announced last year, the...

Because of Technology, Future Presidents Might Have to be Groomed from Birth

April 25, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Tomorrow’s presidential candidates may be groomed from childbirth to avoid gaffes and missteps that increasingly-connected technologies could record and archive forever. In a talk at the QTS Information Security and Compliance Forum in Washington, D.C., last week, hacker-turned-security consultant Jeff Moss described a dystopian future where cheap data storage and...

US Spies Want a Laser Gun That Can Detect Bombs from 100 Feet Away

April 24, 2016 The U.S. Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity wants to develop a hand-held, laser-based remote sensor that could detect and identify chemical weapons, explosives, narcotics and potentially even biological agents – all from up to 100 feet away. The intelligence community’s research arm has awarded funding through the U.S. Air Force...

IARPA Wants a Hand-Held Laser Gun That Can Detect Chemicals 100 Feet Away

April 22, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The U.S. Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity wants to develop a hand-held, laser-based remote sensor that could detect and identify chemical weapons, explosives, narcotics and potentially even biological agents – all from up to 100 feet away. The intelligence community’s research arm has awarded funding through the U.S. Air Force...

Ex-Hacker: If You Get Hacked, Sue Somebody

April 21, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Jeff Moss, the hacker formerly known as Dark Tangent and founder of Black Hat and DEFCON computer security conferences, has a message for the Beltway tech community: If you get owned, sue somebody. Sue the hackers, the botnet operators that affect your business or the company that developed insecure software...

Homeland Security Wants Government To Get Better at Mobile Security

April 21, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Homeland Security Department has released two years’ worth of lessons learned and best practices, in hopes of improving how other agencies manage their mobile options. Published this week, the 39-page Mobile Application Playbook includes insights for chief information officers, business owners and developers, and has been integral in developing...

Facebook for Trees: The Forest Service’s Quest to Make a Tree Database More User-Friendly

April 20, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The U.S. Forest Inventory and Analysis program is essentially the U.S. Census Bureau for trees. The agency maintains a database that includes various characteristics of some 19 million trees over some 350,000-plus plots of land across America and as far away as Guam and the Caribbean Territories. FIA’s data dates...

Judicial Agency Shells Out $16.8M on IT Services

April 18, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow While the executive branch makes up the lion’s share of federal IT spending – set to rise to almost $90 billion – the judicial branch will drop $16.8 million on a single-award contract to Fairfax, Virginia-based Salient CRGT to beef up its IT services. Announced last week, the contract will...