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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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Obamacare Enrollment Tops 2 Million, Still Below Expectations

December 31, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow About 2.1 million people have enrolled in new health insurance plans through HealthCare.gov and state-run health insurance marketplaces since Obamacare went into effect on Oct. 1, officials said on Tuesday. Just over half those enrollments came through the federal marketplace, which was riddled with glitches when it launched but has ...

The Top 5 Government Tech Stories of 2013

December 30, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow This was the year government technology went mainstream. After years of partisan rancor, it turned out that Obamacare, the largest expansion of government in decades, could be brought down more easily by software failures and a byzantine technology contracting system than by political and legal wrangling. Meanwhile, the disastrous launch ...

Coming in 2014: Facebook Across Government

December 30, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Every major federal agency should be using Facebook, Twitter and YouTube by mid-2014 if all goes according to plan, an official told Nextgov on Monday. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which is the only major federal agency without a Facebook presence, plans to launch its page in the spring of 2014, ...

Agencies, Take Note: Social Media Doesn't Just Mean Facebook Anymore

December 30, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Online Americans are broadening the number of social media sites they use with 42 percent using two or more sites, according to a Pew Research Center survey released on Monday. The findings could have implications for federal agencies, which are trying to broaden the ways they use social media to ...

Justice Department to Spend up to $550,000 on LinkedIn Recruiting

December 30, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Justice Department plans to spend up to $550,000 to recruit attorneys and interns to its criminal division using the professional networking site LinkedIn, contracting documents show. The money will go to job ads targeted at the most qualified attorneys on the 150 million member site and to tracking the ...

Emergency Alert System May Go Commercial

December 26, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Federal emergency managers are considering replacing their current custom built system for notifying the public about emergencies with a commercial alternative, contracting documents show. The custom built system, known as the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System - Open Platform for Emergency Networks, or IPAWS-OPEN, has not met a slate ...

Census Dropping BlackBerry, Will Outfit Surveyors with iPhones

December 23, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The U.S. Census Bureau plans to purchase 1,200 iPhones, contracting documents show. The iPhone pilot is the first step toward a bring-your-own-device plan that will result in census workers using their own smartphones for surveys with the government supplying only the software. The Census Bureau currently furnishes non-field staff with ...

Futures Market Shows Hillary, Christie Leading for 2016

December 20, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow An online political futures market that came close to predicting when the government shutdown would end has begun taking bets on who will win the 2016 presidential nominating contests and will soon launch a market on trends in President Obama’s approval rating. American Civics Exchange is something like a betting ...

Federal Records Must Go Digital, but Managers Say They Can't Do It Without More Resources

December 19, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Nearly half of federal records managers believe the Obama administration’s goals for making all new records digital and electronically searchable by 2019 is unrealistic, a new study has found. That deadline, introduced in an August 2012 presidential directive, upset transparency advocates who said it gave agencies a pass to delay ...

What to Believe About Security Risks in Subpoenaed HealthCare.gov Docs

December 18, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The battle over whether to release contractors’ documents that may point out security weaknesses in the HealthCare.gov website can be confusing to follow and even more confusing to take sides in. That’s because, while the government officials and contractors waging the battle are mostly doing it with the same established ...