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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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Tech Titans Combat SOPA, Protect IP Act with Communications 1.0

December 14, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A who's who of information technology entrepreneurs has taken to a very traditional medium to defend their interests -- a full page ad in the New York Times. Titled "An open letter to Washington," the ad on page A19 of Wednesday's Times urges members of Congress and the Administration to ...

New bar for responding to We the People petitions may be too high

December 14, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The White House could have overshot the mark when it raised the bar for an official response to petitions posted to its We the People website to 25,000 signatures in one month. White House officials increased the threshold Oct. 3 after more than 30 petitions topped the original 5,000-signature barrier ...

Window on The World

December 14, 2011 One irony of the digital revolution is that it has made the once relatively simple concept of government transparency significantly more opaque. In the old days of paper, transparency generally meant two things: meetings and documents. The game was about what public officials would show you and what they wouldn't ...

EU to Launch Open Data Portal

December 13, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow This blog post has been updated to clarify the portal's launch date The European Union's governing body has developed an early version of a public data portal and plans to launch the final website by Spring 2012, the European Commission said in a press release Monday. "In time this will ...

How technology will test the Constitution

December 13, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow As technology advances, governments and citizens will face constitutional and legal questions that could barely have been imagined before, legal scholars at the Brookings Institution said Tuesday. Could Google or Facebook, in 2030, for instance, live stream feeds from security cameras dotting the globe? Or would that violate U.S. citizens' ...

It's apps vs. mobile-enabled websites in GSA smackdown

December 12, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Agencies looking to push their content onto mobile platforms are better off building mobile-enabled websites that can be accessed from any smartphone or tablet than building native apps that live only on one particular platform, Neil Bonner, a mobile specialist at the Transportation Security Administration, said recently. Unlike native apps, ...

Clinton Condemns Spy Software Sales to Syria

December 9, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Secretary of State Hillary Clinton criticized Western technology companies suspected of selling surveillance technology to Syria and other repressive regimes in a speech on Internet Freedom Thursday, while acknowledging dual use technologies and third-party resellers sometimes make it difficult for tech companies to keep their hands clean. "When companies sell ...

Federal CIO outlines shared services strategy

December 9, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Agencies must create a plan to move at least two agency-specific information technology services to shared interagency platforms by the end of 2012, according to the draft version of federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel's shared services strategy released Friday. The draft strategy also requires agency IT leaders to create ...

IT project reviews have saved $4 billion since 2010, according to CIO

December 8, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow This story has been updated. Federal agencies have saved nearly $4 billion in the past year through TechStat reviews that resulted in scaling back or canceling information technology projects that are over budget or delayed, officials said Thursday. The TechStat model, aimed at weeding out underperforming contracts, was launched by ...

Federal IT Dashboard improving but still not wholly accurate

December 8, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Postings to the Office of Management and Budget's Federal IT Dashboard are more accurate and timely than 18 months ago, but they still aren't giving a perfectly clear picture of government information technology spending, according to a watchdog report released Wednesday. The Federal IT Dashboard ranks about 800 major IT ...