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?
- 18 Hot IT Certifications for 2014
- CIOs Opting for IT Contractors Over Hiring Full-Time Staff
- 12 Best Free iOS 7 Holiday Shopping Apps
- For CMOs Big Data Can Lead to Big Profits
- Slideshow: 5 ways to lock down your mobile device
- Slideshow: 10 mistakes companies make after a data breach
- How to rob a bank: A social engineering walk through
- Which smartphone is the most secure?
If you think getting it right from day one is always what matters, you probably haven't been following technology too closely.
- 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.
- Mitigating DDoS Attacks with F5 Technology
- This document examines various DDoS attack methods and the application of specific ADC technologies to block attacks in the DDoS threat spectrum while...
- The DDoS Threat Spectrum
- Bolstered by favorable economics, today's global botnets are using distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks to target firewalls, web services, and applications, often simultaneously.
- Defending Against Denial of Service Attacks
- By utilizing end-user interviews, this whitepaper explores a deeper understanding of DDoS defense plans and reveals the knowledge gaps around the Denial of...
- Strategic Solutions for Government IT
- This paper outlines why F5 is the optimum partner to help achieve the levels of security, performance and availability that are vital to...
- Armed and Dangerous: Help your IT Organization Embrace Enterprise Mobility
- Becoming a mobile enterprise means new opportunities for your organization yet letting employees choose their own devices and then access corporate resources, apps,... All Government IT White Papers
- Modernizing SAP environments with minimum risk - a path to Big Data Hear from top IDC analyst, Richard Villars, about the path you can start taking now to enable your organization to get the benefits...
- Fighting Fraud Videos: IBM Intelligent Investigation Manager Short videos about IBM Intelligent Investigation Manager (IIM) for Fraud. IIM optimizes the investigation of fraud for customers across many industries in both...
- IBM Intelligent Investigation Manager: Online Product Demo Intelligent Investigation Manager optimizes fraud investigation and analysis and it dynamically coordinates and reports on cases, provides analysis and visualization, and enables more...
- Webinar: IBM IIM for Fraud, Abuse and Waste in Government View this IBM webinar to learn about the challenges and opportunities in fraud reduction, waste, and abuse in government programs and agencies. You...
- Pre-Engineered solutions from VCE Simplify Core Infrastructure Implementation In this video, the CTO of Purdue Pharma, a privately held pharmaceutical company explains how Purdue transformed their data center infrastructure with VCE.
- All Government IT Webcasts
Does your organization offer extensive benefits, cool perks, competitive salaries, opportunities for training and advancement? Then get it recognized!
Nominate your company or another deserving organization for Computerworld's 2014 Best Places to Work in IT list now through Dec. 12, 2013.