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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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A Campaign Tweet With History

July 12, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow That former federal Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra would announce his candidacy to be Virginia’s lieutenant governor on Twitter may have been a given in retrospect. What better way for a technologist to simultaneously reach out to his natural constituency and build new followers. One major question remains, though, about ...

Slowdown in Private Sector Tech Could Be a Warning to Government

July 12, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Reuters reported Wednesday that even the normally bullish tech sector is bracing for lower-than-expected quarterly earnings reports, causing investors to back off the likes of Microsoft, IBM and Intel. Here’s the explainer: Corporate IT budgets have historically proved more resilient to worsening macroeconomic conditions than other kinds of spending, because ...

Agencies aren’t providing enough details about future cloud moves, GAO says

July 11, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Nineteen of 20 agency plans for future cloud computing projects are missing important elements, a watchdog said Wednesday. For example, seven of the 20 blueprints submitted to the Office of Management and Budget do not include any cost estimates, according to the Government Accountability Office report. None of the 14 ...

Agencies’ initial IT reviews reveal major savings potential, federal CIO says

July 11, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow This story has been updated. Investment review board meetings aimed at rooting out waste and duplication in government information technology portfolios have turned up $500 million in potential savings at just the six agencies reviewed so far, the federal chief information officer said Wednesday. Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel plans to ...

DATA Act might have saved GSA from scandal

July 10, 2012 Information collected under the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act, now pending before Congress, could have helped prevent the over-the-top 2010 conference that erupted into a General Services Administration scandal in April, data vendors said Tuesday. It also might have spotted warning signals that the $500 million Energy Department loan guarantee ...

What Comes First: the Data or the Civic Hackers?

July 9, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow An interesting debate simmering over at the Global Integrity blog points to the complicated nexus between open data and development. The exchange was sparked by a Guardian op-ed by Walid Al-Saqaf, a Yemeni journalist and open government advocate, in which he called on the Yemeni government to establish a digital ...

Spending oversight requires digging deep for data

July 6, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The most important step in using data analysis to reduce waste and fraud in government spending is to ensure you have all the information you need, an architect of the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board’s system to track stimulus spending said Friday. That’s why the board insisted that primary recipients ...

Will Western Tech Firms Stand for Freedom? Experts Are Split

July 6, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Internet experts are about evenly split on whether Western-based technology firms will protect dissidents in autocratic nations a decade down the road or whether they’ll be aiding the oppressors, according to a report released Thursday. By 2020, Western technology companies “will be expected to abide by a set of norms ...

Treasury might change cloud hosts

July 5, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Treasury Department is in the market for a long-term cloud-based host for its flagship Treasury.gov website and a handful of other sites, according to solicitation documents. The Treasury sites currently are hosted in Amazon’s EC2 cloud, which also houses numerous other federal sites, including several Energy Department sites and ...

Agencies should publish lists of all their data, group says

July 3, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow This story has been updated. Federal agencies should be required to maintain lists of their full data catalogs so agency officials and the public know what exists, what’s public and what’s not, Sunlight Foundation Policy Director John Wonderlich said Tuesday. That’s one line item in a list of best practices ...