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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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...

Still waiting on the Twitter Archive

July 31, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Library of Congress has not backed away from its plan to archive every public Tweet ever. That was the big news in this recent Buzzfeed post. Just what the archive will look like and when it will be available is less clear, according to the post’s author John Herman....

Federal CTO Todd Park taps the private sector to drive innovation

July 27, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow 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...

The Dot-Gov Footprint Is Inching Down

July 26, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A governmentwide effort to slash the federal Web presence is clearly still on despite some indications it might be delayed by other elements of the government digital strategy launched in May. There are 1,122 top-level federal Web domains that are still active and not redirecting to other sites, according to...

Disability rules complicate federal websites’ smartphone and tablet displays

July 26, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow With smartphone and tablet users making up a growing percentage of Internet traffic, many private sector websites have adopted responsive Web design, which can determine the type of device a visitor is using and then tailor its display accordingly. A visitor on a smartphone might see fewer menu options, for...

Secret Service seeks commercial portal to access law enforcement networks

July 25, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Secret Service is looking for a commercial alternative to its in-house system for accessing two crime databases, according to solicitation documents posted Monday. The commercial system must access the National Crime Information Center, a database for federal, state and local law enforcement, and the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System,...

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