Outgoing federal CIO warns of 'an IT cartel'
Vivek Kundra, in appearance before White House science committee, also tells of the risk of data sharing
Computerworld - WASHINGTON - In a wide-ranging discussion Friday with President Barack Obama's top science advisors, Federal CIO Vivek Kundra warned of the dangers of open data access and complained of "an IT cartel" of vendors.
He also believes the U.S. can operate with just a few data centers.
Kundra, who is leaving his job in mid-August, offered a kaleidoscopic view of his concerns about federal IT in an appearance before President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.
In particular, Kundra is worried about the "mosaic effect," the unintended consequence of government data sharing, where data sets are combined and layered in ways that can strip away privacy and pose security threats.
In the age of Facebook and Twitter, where a lot of personal data is already available, government data that may have been "innocuous in the past," can be used to "identify people that may not want to be identified," Kundra said.
At this meeting, he was sharply critical of government IT contracting and told the committee "that we almost have an IT cartel within federal IT" that's made up of "very few companies" that benefit from government spending "because they understand the procurement process better than anyone else."
"It's not because they provide better technology," Kundra said of the contractors.
As federal CIO, Kundra has been an advocate for data sharing, a critic of big government vendor contracts, and a believer in new technologies, particularly the cloud. He is leaving his job to take a fellowship at Harvard.
Kundra said the government knows "that true value lies at the intersection of multiple data sets" but he also realizes that if data is released "without actually thinking about the national security implications," there could be issues.
As an example, Kundra said his office has been talking to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission about data it was going to release and acknowledged a "very vigorous debate" around it, without revealing specifics.
Obama and tech
- China set to surpass U.S. in R&D spending in 10 years
- Outgoing federal CIO warns of 'an IT cartel'
- @whitehouse takes on Twitter Town Hall
- Obama's CIO quits
- Little new in Obama cybersecurity proposal
- Feds update IT plan following Obama's 'horrible' comment
- Obama's online trusted ID plan greeted with caution
- U.S. Census tech makeover includes 'oasis' for innovation
- Obama seeks big boost in cybersecurity spending
- QuickPoll: Is Obama's 98% 4G broadband coverage goal realistic?
This pilot fish is a contractor at a military base, working on some very cool fire-control systems for tanks. But when he spots something obviously wrong during a live-fire test, he can't get the firing-range commander's attention.
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Reduce federal infrastructure risk with compliance management and situational awareness
- IBM continuous monitoring and management solutions deliver real-time situational awareness to help federal agencies understand vulnerabilities, and protect the infrastructure.
- The Business Value of Continuous Delivery
- Download this whitepaper to learn more about the business value of Continuous Delivery and see why it could be a game changer for...
- Ten Factors Shaping the Future of Application Delivery
- Download this research report conducted by Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) to learn how those that are seeking to accelerate application delivery are leveraging...
- Software Asset Management: Ensuring Today's Assets
- Today's trends like BYOD and SaaS are new and exciting in terms of how they will help make our jobs more productive but...
- Trends Shaping Software Management: 2014
- Most IT executives recognize the relationship between mobile computing and worker productivity, and have long issued notebook computers and other mobile devices to... All Government IT White Papers
- IBM FlashSystem V840: Leveraging Software-Defined Flash to Drive Your Business With end-to-end, tightly integrated functionality and super-fast flash technology, products like IBM FlashSystem V840 Enterprise Performance Solution empower businesses to leverage the efficiency...
- Leveraging Flash Storage to Accelerate Oracle Real Application Clusters Join this webinar to understand the latest solid-state storage trends, the specific applications driving solid-state storage deployments and the benefits of deploying the...
- Top 4 Digital Signage Fails Join RMG Networks for a look at four of the most common reasons digital signage fails in corporate businesses. Learn about strategies to...
- The Key to Happiness: Throw out Your Data Warehouse In this webinar, Kerry Reitnauer, Director, Solution Architect at FairPoint Communications will discuss the challenges the data warehouse brought, how they migrated to...
- It's not too late...Get Your Mobile Questions Answered Live! How can IT provide seamless and secure mobile communications and collaboration for all? Join this live Webcast as IDG asks an expert panel...
- All Government IT Webcasts