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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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Powering Down

September 1, 2012 Government data centers work like any other factory. They produce something: in this case, the computer systems that power websites, manage payrolls and store vital information. They also have to eat up raw materials to do it: the electricity that runs those banks of computer servers and the air conditioning ...

Agencies continue to struggle with FOIA requests

August 31, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Some agencies have made progress in reducing their backlog of Freedom of Information Act requests since a 2009 directive, but the logjam has increased at other agencies, according to a watchdog report released Thursday. Only about half the 16 agencies studied in the Government Accountability Office report managed to reduce ...

Consolidation alone won’t solve data centers’ energy problem

August 31, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Government data centers work like any other factory. They produce something: in this case, the computer systems that power websites, manage payrolls and store vital information. They also have to eat up raw materials to do it: the electricity that runs those banks of computer servers and the air conditioning ...

Government Crowdsourcing Efforts Are Tricky, Just Ask Agencies

August 31, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow It’s been a busy couple of weeks for government crowdsourcing practitioners -- weeks that have pointed out both the variety of opportunities for the public to pitch in on projects and some pitfalls as well. The Health and Human Services Department’s Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology ...

GSA issues cloud email blanket purchase agreements

August 30, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The government has entered into a blanket purchase agreement with 17 cloud email providers, a move that will likely spur a number of agencies to switch to the Internet-based email systems, the General Services Administration announced Thursday. The 17 vendors will offer five different cloud email systems, a GSA official ...

Dismissed SSA advisory panel had a lasting effect, chairman says

August 30, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A defunct advisory panel tasked with guiding the Social Security Administration on bringing its technology architecture up to date contributed to improvements at the agency even though SSA failed to implement most of its recommendations, the panel’s chairman said Wednesday. Commissioner Michael Astrue terminated SSA’s Future Systems Technology Advisory Panel ...

Obama vows to fight for Internet freedom on Reddit

August 29, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow This story has been updated. President Obama took to the social networking site Reddit Wednesday afternoon to answer questions about Internet freedom, the influence of money in politics and his most difficult decision in office. He also pledged to release the White House’s micro brewed beer recipe, an issue that ...

Will People Pay More for Better Government Service?

August 29, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow This post has been updated to correct the percentage of NIC online services that are run on a fee basis. A majority of Americans would rather pay more for a government service than wait in a long line, according to a new survey commissioned by the largest provider of e-government ...

Data Center Power

August 29, 2012 Government data centers work like any other factory. They produce something: in this case, the computer systems that power websites, manage payrolls and store vital information. They also have to eat up raw materials to do it: the electricity that runs those banks of computer servers and the air conditioning ...

TSA seeks technology to make screening easier on travelers

August 28, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow This story was updated to include a comment from TSA. The Transportation Security Administration is scanning the private sector for technology to improve the way it searches for and responds to threats at the nation’s airports, according to solicitation documents posted Monday. In addition to improving security, TSA is interested ...