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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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State plans to hike cloud spending, scale back digital diplomacy

February 13, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The State Department wants to invest about $22 million more in information technology this year, according to justification documents accompanying President Obama's proposed fiscal 2013 budget. By far the largest share of that increase would go to cloud computing initiatives, including building a "private cloud" for internal use and a ...

Under Obama plan, federal IT spending would drop 1 percent

February 13, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow This story has been updated. President Obama's proposed fiscal 2013 budget includes a dip of slightly more than 1 percent for federal information technology to about $78.9 billion. That overall drop is due largely to a major decline in Defense Department IT spending, which is projected to fall by about ...

Marines Navigate Another Digital Landmine

February 10, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The U.S. Marine Corps is getting another lesson in the power of ubiquitous digital technology. Less than one month after a video surfaced showing Marines urinating on Taliban fighters' corpses, a photo has been making the rounds of an elite sniper unit posing by a flag with the double lightning ...

SBA's loan system troubles could complicate reorganization

February 10, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Small Business Administration is behind schedule on five of six planned improvements to its Loan Management and Accounting Systems and costs for the overall project have risen about 20 percent since 2010 to $28 million, a recent Government Accountability Office report said. That's a common story with federal information ...

Turning government data into private sector products is complicated business

February 9, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The government launched its massive data set trove Data.gov in 2009 with a clear mission: to put information the government was gathering anyway into the hands of private sector and nonprofit Web and mobile app developers. Once that data was out, the White House imagined, developers would set about turning ...

Outgoing CTO ruffles some feathers praising citizen innovators

February 8, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow An event to mark federal Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra's last day in office Wednesday briefly turned into a debate about the nature of government innovation. Chopra spent most of what amounted to a farewell address at the Center for American Progress praising citizens who had launched new businesses or ...

Interior rebids cloud email contract

February 8, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Interior Department issued a new solicitation for cloud email services Tuesday. The department withdrew an earlier solicitation in September 2011 after a yearlong legal battle during which Google challenged Interior's award of the $59 million contract to Softchoice, which offers a Microsoft-based system. A federal judge agreed to dismiss ...

Leave 'Em Laughing: U.S. Embassy in Syria Posts Cartoon to Facebook

February 7, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The U.S. Embassy in Damascus' only statement to Syrian citizens since pulling up stakes in what appears to be a nascent civil war is...a cartoon. The State Department evacuated the Damascus embassy Monday amid rising violence between Arab Spring protesters and President Basher Assad's regime. It wasn't clear at the ...

One-Fifth of Americans Getting Campaign News on Facebook

February 7, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow This post has been updated to correct a statistic about newspapers as a source of election news About 20 percent of Americans are learning something about the presidential campaign on Facebook, compared with 42 percent who are getting some election news from their local daily newspapers, according to a study ...

No easy answers on Twitter's new censorship policy

February 7, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The headline and opening paragraphs of this story were changed to more accurately characterize the sources' positions on the issue. Experts were split Tuesday on whether Twitter's new policy to allow country-specific censorship represents a fundamental failure to protect free speech, is simply the price of doing business globally, or ...