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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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GSA may have to start over on governmentwide cellphone plan

September 25, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A decision posted Tuesday by the Office of the Comptroller General could complicate the government’s goal of saving billions of dollars by consolidating contracts for mobile phone services. The General Services Administration failed to prove that several vendor requirements it included in its Wireless Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative were standard ...

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly About Government Data Storage

September 25, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The past few days have demonstrated benefits and some pitfalls related to the government’s shift to nimble cloud-based storage for much of its computer services. The good news: those promised money savings are starting to appear and demonstrate the government’s technology shop has some hope of fulfilling its promise to ...

A new breed of mercenary: Tweeting for hire

September 24, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow More repressive regimes are combating online critics by paying pro-government bloggers to “tout the official point of view, discredit opposition activists, or disseminate false information” in online comment streams and on social media, according to an international watchdog report released Monday. This practice was once mostly limited to China and ...

One year later We the People petitioners have mixed reviews

September 21, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow As it approaches its one-year anniversary, the White House website that invites people to petition the government and promises to respond to the most popular appeals is getting mixed reviews from users. Kathleen Summers credited We the People, which will turn one on Saturday, with bringing greater public attention to ...

Labor cancels social media monitoring solicitation

September 20, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Labor Department canceled a solicitation to monitor numerous news sources including social media Thursday, two days after it went out. A note on the FBO.gov federal contracting site said there was no information on if or when the solicitation would be offered again. A program to monitor social media ...

Issa proposes legislation to reboot federal IT

September 20, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow This story was updated to include a comment from Rep. Gerry Connolly. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., is floating proposed legislation that would drastically reform the way federal technology is purchased, including by granting agency chief information officers authority over their information technology budgets. CIOs have long sought budget authority as ...

GSA plans to integrate program management with Google Apps

September 19, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The General Services Administration plans to purchase technology that will link its program management schedules and timelines with Google tools, such as calendars and the Google Drive document system, procurement documents posted Tuesday show. Agency officials estimate an enterprise license for the cloud-based system from vendor Smartsheet.com will cost $75,000 ...

RSA and Booz Allen Hamilton partner for cyber incidence response

September 19, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Security firms RSA and Booz Allen Hamilton are partnering to offer agencies and companies support and consulting services for responding to computer attacks, the companies announced Wednesday. The goal of the joint venture is to shorten the time it takes to identify threats and fix compromised systems. The arrangement will ...

Smartphone friendly, congressional search site unveiled

September 19, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow This story has been updated to add additional comment. The Library of Congress unveiled a new Web search tool for bills and other congressional records Wednesday that eventually will replace the 17-year-old Thomas.gov website. Congress.gov, which was launched in a beta form, will automatically adapt to fit computer, smartphone and ...

Green Button Initiative Gets Down to Business

September 19, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology has picked HyperTek Inc. to expand the reach of the Green Button Initiative aimed at giving companies and individuals easy access to information about their electricity usage, solicitation documents show. The requirements of the $175,000 contract are to coordinate with standards ...