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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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Big news about big data

March 29, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A White House webinar scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday is shaping up to be the biggest news for big data watchers in months. Either before or during the webinar White House officials plan to announce a $200 million cross-agency investment in big data research, according to an article by New ...

USDA slashed its mobile phone bill $400,000 per month

March 29, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow AigarsR/Shutterstock.com The U.S. Agriculture Department has saved about 20 percent of its mobile phone costs by consolidating mobile service contracts, federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel told Nextgov. The total savings amount to about $400,000 per month, an Agriculture spokeswoman said. "Over the past year, USDA has moved from over ...

Elections could affect federal IT contract schedule

March 28, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Federal information technology budgets and priorities are unlikely to shift much based on who wins November's presidential and congressional elections, experts said Wednesday, but the election results could shake up the government's spending cycle. "You'll probably see a lot of [contracting] activity at the end of the fiscal year," said ...

One-third of We the People petitions are Six Months Old

March 27, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The White House protested last week that it listens closely to citizen grievances posted to its We the People online petition site. The statement was in response to a We the People petition titled "Actually take these petitions seriously instead of just using them as an excuse to pretend you ...

Archives crowdsources advice on federal e-records management

March 27, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Ensuring electronic records management practices apply broadly across agency divisions and mandating a chief records officer serve at each agency are the most popular recommendations in a crowdsourced survey of best practices sponsored by the National Archives and Records Administration. The National Archives launched the IdeaScale page on Feb. 16 ...

White House to petitioners: We ARE listening

March 26, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Obama administration takes petitions posted to its We the People website seriously and during weekly meetings discusses responses to those that cross the 25,000-signature threshold, officials said in a response and video posted Thursday. The White House launched We the People in September, touting it as a one-stop shop ...

Experts Split on the Future of Web Vs. Apps

March 23, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow About two-thirds of information technology experts expect the wide open, search-driven Internet to be stronger than ever in 2020, according to a survey released Friday by the Pew Internet and American Life Project. About one-third of the 1,021 experts surveyed by researchers from Pew and the North Carolina-based Elon University ...

Malicious code in the IT supply chain threatens federal operations

March 23, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Agencies that deal with national security data and programs must do more to secure their information technology supply chains, a government watchdog said Friday. Federal agencies aren't required to track "the extent to which their telecommunications networks contain foreign-developed equipment, software or services," the Government Accountability Office report said, and ...

Feds Crowdsource Ideas to Reduce Technology Hurdles for the Disabled

March 20, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Federal officials launched an IdeaScale page Monday to crowdsource ideas for reducing the technological barriers disabled Americans encounter when they interact with the federal government as employees or citizens seeking information or services. The page will collect suggestions through April 9. The crowdsourcing initiative follows a series of more formal ...

Recycle government gadgets with greater care, GAO says

March 19, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Federal agencies could do more to ensure their castoff computers and other electronics don't end up in landfills, according to a watchdog report released Monday. The U.S. government is the largest global purchaser of information technology and disposes of about 10,000 computers weekly, according to estimates from the Environmental Protection ...