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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Petition criticizing Westboro Baptists is most popular ever on White House site

December 18, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A petition seeking to have the Westboro Baptist Church legally defined as a hate group outpaced a separate petition asking the Obama Administration to support legislation to further restrict gun ownership on the White House’s We the People website Tuesday. Both petitions were posted on Friday shortly after a Newtown,...

NASA goes Gangnam Style

December 17, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow From the agency that brought you “We’re NASA and we Know it” and the early hit “I.S.S. Baby” comes this new gem: “NASA Johnson Style,” a Gangnam Style parody. The video was produced by students at the Johnson Space Center in Houston and posted to YouTube Friday. It had been...

Gun violence petition continues to break records on We the People

December 17, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A petition advocating stricter gun regulations that was posted to the White House’s We the People website shortly after a deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., Friday had been signed over 150,000 times by Monday afternoon. That easily makes it the most popular petition ever posted to...

Gun control petition is most popular ever posted to White House site

December 16, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A petition asking the White House to immediately press Congress for tighter restrictions on gun ownership became the most popular ever posted to the White House’s We the People website after less than 48 hours online Sunday. The petition was filed in the hours following an elementary school shooting in...

Gun control petition receives more than 35,000 signatures in just hours online

December 14, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow An updated version of this story can be found here. A petition to the White House demanding stricter gun control laws crossed the 25,000 signature barrier for an official White House response after fewer than seven hours online Friday. The petition was created shortly after the shooting rampage at a...

Contractors find that doing business with government is increasingly risky

December 14, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Federal contracting is increasingly becoming a high risk business, according to an industry survey scheduled to be released later this month. The survey from consultant Grant Thornton shows nearly 40 percent of federal contractors achieved lower revenues this year compared to last year while 35 percent made greater revenue, Grant...

Patent office plans a public search portal

December 13, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is on the lookout for a company that can use its cumbersome database of granted and pending patents to build a more user-friendly public website that will automatically update users about the changing status of particular patent applications. That basic function must be provided...

DOT wants to mandate black boxes for cars

December 12, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow We’ve come a long way from crash test dummies. The Transportation Department proposed a new rule this month that would require all automakers to begin installing the equivalent of an airplane’s black box in their vehicles by September 2014. More than 95 percent of 2013 model passenger cars already carry...

Agencies seek more guidance on mobile technology

December 12, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Government agencies want more guidance on how to safely and smartly adopt new mobile technology programs, such as bring-your-own-device plans, an interagency group of chief information officers said Wednesday. Without more central guidance on security, policy and legal considerations, agencies adopting BYOD policies, building internal app stores and launching other...

The era of government-supplied technology for employees is eroding

December 12, 2012 The next four to eight years in federal IT will be defined by what workers increasingly lack, experts say, including agency-issued phones, tablets and even laptops for telework. “Bring your own device” policies already have been rolled out at some agencies, mostly on a voluntary basis. As the years roll...

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