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Joseph Marks

Senior Correspondent Joseph Marks covers cybersecurity for Nextgov. He previously covered cybersecurity for Politico, intellectual property for Bloomberg BNA and federal litigation for Law360. He covered government technology for Nextgov during an earlier stint at the publication and began his career at Midwestern newspapers covering everything under the sun. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Wisconsin in Madison and a master’s in international affairs from Georgetown University.
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FDA Plans to Mine Shipping Data to Expose Illegal Cigarette Sales

June 18, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Food and Drug Administration plans to turn to data mining to spot illegal sellers of cigarettes and other tobacco products, solicitation documents show. The agency is seeking a vendor to mine commercial shipping data going back to 2007 to spot oddities that might indicate illegal tobacco sales or trafficking...

Vines Across the Oceans

June 17, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow It’s been about two months since the government inked terms of service with Twitter’s six-second video sharing site Vine, and agencies are beginning to make their marks there. Several U.S. embassies are among the early government Viners. The site gives embassies a quick, visual way to share something about the...

Survey Predicts Major Savings from Big Data

June 17, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Federal technology officials think new data analysis tools could help them make smarter decisions, ultimately saving up to 14 percent of agency budgets, a survey released Monday said. About one-third of officials thought their agencies were on the right track with big data programming despite budget cuts resulting from sequestration,...

A More Searchable History

June 14, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The push to open up government data in searchable and machine-readable formats has focused mostly on the work of contemporary lawmakers and officials. The principles of open data can be applied just as easily and fruitfully to historical works, though, as demonstrated by Founders Online, a new database that boasts...

CIA Gave Amazon a Leg Up on Cloud Deal

June 14, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The CIA gave Amazon an unfair advantage when it agreed to weaken security requirements on a $150 million contract for a massive intelligence community computer cloud it had already awarded to the Web giant, an auditor said Friday. During post-award negotiations, Amazon asked the CIA to weaken a requirement that...

House Backs IT Buying Overhaul

June 14, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow This story has been updated to include comment from Rep. Issa. The House on Friday passed a bipartisan plan to overhaul the way the government purchases and manages information technology, as part of a major defense policy bill. House members agreed to add a version of the Federal Information Technology...

We Should Be Getting More From IT Project Reviews, Report Says

June 13, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A system of top-level, adapt-or-perish reviews hasn’t done enough to stem the tide of over-budget and past-deadline information technology projects across the government, according to a report published Thursday. The White House’s Office of Management and Budget also hasn’t done enough to verify the $4 billion it claims TechStat sessions...

NSA Might Not be Reading Your Tweets, But Sen. Mikulski Is

June 12, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Among online networking giants, Twitter alone appears to have not cooperated with a National Security Agency program known as Prism that mined some Americans’ online data. Twitter found its way into the Prism discussion on Wednesday, though, when Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., read a reporter’s tweet out loud during an...

China Thwarts Its Citizens’ Access to White House Petition

June 12, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow People who post petitions to the White House website We the People often complain the government isn’t really paying attention to their grievances; another group, however, seems to be paying very close attention: the Chinese government. On May 5, someone in Miami posted a We the People petition asking the...

Think That Government Prize Contest Was Fixed? Take It To Court.

June 12, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Government Accountability Office has no jurisdiction over disputes that arise from prize competitions and challenges run by federal agencies, the office said in a decision Friday. This is the first time GAO’s procurement law division has been asked to render an opinion on a government contest, Ralph White, the...