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Joseph Marks

Staff Correspondent Joseph Marks covers government technology issues, social media, Gov 2.0 and global Internet freedom for Nextgov. He previously reported on federal litigation and legal policy for Law360 and on local, state and regional issues for two Midwestern newspapers. He also interned for Congressional Quarterly’s Homeland Security section and the Associated Press’s Jerusalem Bureau. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s in international affairs from Georgetown.
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Agency uses circumvention tools to advance democracy

August 23, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow As humorless border guards and red-penned press censors have given way to Internet firewalls and denial-of-service cyberattacks, the federal government's international broadcasting arm has had to find new ways to support the free flow of information in repressive states. The agency that once set up transmitters in Europe to overcome ...

USGS crowd sources earthquake reports

August 23, 2011 Maybe Washington-area folks are more conscientious than others. By 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, about three hours after a 5.9 magnitude earthquake hit Mineral, Va., about 90 miles outside Washington, more than 9,000 people had responded to a U.S. Geological Survey crowd sourcing page that aimed to gather information about the earthquake's ...

Quake's aftermath: From the conference room to the streets

August 23, 2011 As a rare, powerful earthquake rolled through Washington Tuesday, officials throughout Washington took cover, then took to the streets, at least briefly. One State Department official who asked not to be named told Government Executive he was in a meeting in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building when the quake hit. ...

Industry report recommends ramping up agencies' open government plans

August 22, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Federal agencies haven't done enough to measure the extent of public participation resulting from their open government plans or to calculate what impact that public participation is having on agency decisions, according to an industry report released Monday. Overall, agencies have made strides in increasing the level of public participation ...

Mobile apps are reshaping government services and operations

August 19, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Federal agencies so far have launched about 75 mobile apps aimed at everything from allowing citizens to more easily browse proposed legislation to helping anglers alert their peers when they've just released a short fin mako shark. Many of the biggest innovations in the government apps sphere, though, are happening ...

Mobile apps are reshaping government services and operations

August 19, 2011 Federal agencies so far have launched about 75 mobile apps aimed at everything from allowing citizens to more easily browse proposed legislation to helping anglers alert their peers when they've just released a short fin mako shark. Many of the biggest innovations in the government apps sphere, though, are happening ...

White House Website May Be Blocked in Iran, but Not CIA's

August 17, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Want to know what gets Iranian Web censors' transgenic goat? Well, it's tough to tell. The White House website, Whitehouse.gov, raises the censors' ire, according to the search site Blocked in Iran but sites connected with President Obama's 2012 reelection race are all in the clear. Even the presidential campaign ...

Amazon launches gov-only cloud

August 17, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Amazon Web Services is launching a new government-only cloud storage service that will require employees to be American citizens, the company announced Tuesday. That restriction will open up the cloud provider's services to more sensitive data from agencies that must comply with strict data-handling regulations such as the International Traffic ...

Agriculture pulls all GIS maps into a single portal

August 17, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A new Web portal being put together by the Agriculture Department aims to reduce duplication in the agency's mapping work and make high-quality maps more accessible to the public. More than half the department's 29 divisions are involved in geospatial work, Geospatial Information Officer Stephen Lowe said, either mashing satellite ...

From Nextgov: Agriculture pulls all GIS maps into a single portal

August 17, 2011 A new Web portal being put together by the Agriculture Department aims to reduce duplication in the agency's mapping work and make high-quality maps more accessible to the public. Read the whole story at Nextgov.com.