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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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Nobody knows if you’re a fed online

August 16, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The General Services Administration launched a tool Thursday that allows social media users to test whether they’re interacting with a legitimate government agency or official and not an imposter. The Federal Social Media Registry is essentially a search bar where people can paste the Web address of a social media ...

Labor Department plans move to the cloud

August 16, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Labor Department plans to move its email and digital collaboration tools to the cloud, according to a solicitation released Wednesday. The department also is seeking Web-based e-discovery, records management and software-as-a-service tools -- programs that are stored in a vendor’s cloud rather than on an agency’s own servers. Labor’s ...

The Limits of Civic Crowdsourcing

August 16, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Andres Monroy-Hernandez has an interesting piece over at ReadWriteWeb about the limits of civic crowdsourcing, using the Mexican drug war as his prime example. Monroy-Hernandez is a fellow at Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet and Society. His bottom line is that technological innovations can assist civic reform but they ...

What Data Does the Public Want? Just Ask.

August 15, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Agencies wondering what data they should release through application programming interfaces have hit on a novel idea: just ask. APIs are data streams that automatically transfer new information from one website -- in this case, a government agency’s -- to a subscriber’s computer or website. An environmental researcher, for instance, ...

Education wants to tailor Web content to visitors’ disabilities

August 14, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Education Department is seeking technology to tailor its websites’ presentation to visitors’ disabilities, according to solicitation documents. The technology likely would recognize disabled visitors based on a stored profile from previous visits to the department’s websites and adjust the content accordingly, the July 30 documents state. Changes could include ...

Interest in Petitions to Legalize Pot, Expose Aliens Plummets

August 9, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Looking for evidence that the public is losing interest in the White House’s online petition platform We the People? Note this figure: two petitions urging the government to come clean on extraterrestrial visits to the United States together garnered about 17,000 signatures in six weeks soon after the site launched ...

Local Police Increasingly Use Facebook, YouTube to Solve Crimes

August 7, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Smaller police departments and sheriffs’ offices are more likely to turn to social media to solve crimes than state law enforcement organizations, according to a recent survey by LexisNexis Risk Solutions. About 80 percent of surveyed law enforcement officers look to social media during their investigations, the data search company ...

All in a Word: Russia's Open Government Commitments

August 2, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The St. Petersburg-based nonprofit Freedom of Information Foundation has put together an interesting list of proposals for Russian leaders to consider as they develop commitments for the international Open Government Partnership. Russia’s former President Dmitri Medvedev started making noises about joining the OGP in February. His predecessor turned successor Vladimir ...

Wanted: Innovators

August 1, 2012 In mid-2010, the already frenetic Todd Park was in overdrive. President Obama had just signed the Affordable Care Act into law, the most significant reform of the American health care system since Medicare. It was Park’s job to figure out how government could use technology to make the law’s implementation ...

Tech Roundup

August 1, 2012 Inside Job The Transportation Security Administration is shopping for a computer program to snoop into the online activities of agency employees, including their keystrokes and emails, for signs of potential leaks. TSA’s solicitation for an “enterprise insider threat software package” in June coincided with an Office of Special Counsel memorandum ...