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More Government IT In Depth

Government open data proves a treasure trove for savvy businesses

Ever since President Obama signed the Open Data Executive Order, government agencies have been making their vast data stores available to the public. These once-secret data sets are proving a valuable business resource, too.

Gigabit Internet Service Providers Challenge Traditional ISPs

Companies such as Comcast and Time Warner don't think the United States is ready for -- or even needs -- gigabit Internet, but Google Fiber and a host of independent initiatives suggest that they are faster and cheaper.

Smart cities are here today -- and getting smarter

Smart cities aren't the stuff of science fiction. Governments -- in the heartland and on both coasts -- are using sensors, social media, big data and other technologies to provide better services to citizens.

10 Stories That Shaped Tech Policy in 2013

From the NSA surveillance revelations to the troubled government healthcare website to a variety of issues that didn't make the mainstream news, here are the top tech policy stories that played out in 2013.

Gotcha! FBI launches new biometric systems to nail criminals

The agency is in the final stages of rolling out a new database that will let law enforcement search for and identify criminals by palm print, iris image and mug shot as well as fingerprints. Early results are very positive.

Learning From Healthcare.gov: 4 Lessons in Choosing a IT Vendor

The vendor chosen in a no-bid process to build Healthcare.gov was fired from a similar project after missing deadlines and suffering security lapses for three years. Such obvious mistakes are unfortunately all too common in the private and public sector. Here are four simple ways to make sure you choose the right vendor for your IT project.

The best data security offense is a good defense

After several missed security audits, the IT team at the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare jumped into action, building an ambitious security risk framework so audit reports could be prepared in a timely fashion.

HealthCare.gov's problems: What we know so far

More than a month after it went live, a couple of large questions remain about the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' botched launch of HealthCare.gov.

What's Wrong With Healthcare.gov's Price Estimator

In the early days of Healthcare.gov, I praised the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for publishing a dataset with sample rates for every health plan participating in the federal health insurance marketplace.

Predictive policing gets personal

Some localities are shying away from predicting who will commit a crime, even though the technology exists, in favor of when and where.

It's criminal: Why data sharing lags among law enforcement agencies

Five years after the FBI launched its National Data Exchange data warehouse initiative, more than three quarters of law enforcement agencies still aren't sharing. Here's why.

How a Dating Service for IP Could Turn Patent Trolls Into White Knights

At Demo 2013, a firm called idealAsset showed off a product that helps would-be buyers and sellers of intellectual property find each other. Could this sort of matchmaking convince patent trolls to acquire IP by nobler means?

Will Government Shutdown Boost Private IT Hiring?

With the government closed for business, private-sector firms should consider poaching public-sector IT talent to fill open tech positions.

How to Prepare for a Potential Syrian Counterattack on the U.S. Power Grid

It isn't yet time to stock up on canned beans and bottled water, but a potential conflict with Syria--which hasn't been shy about attacking vulnerable U.S. infrastructure--should have your organization reviewing its disaster-preparedness plans.

Big Data Drives City of Buffalo's Operation Clean Sweep

By layering data from 311 and 911 calls over Census data, unemployment data and other poverty indicators, Buffalo uses data analytics to identify its most challenged neighborhoods and more effectively deploy resources for everything from neighborhood beautification to combatting crime and reducing fire hazards.

What the CIA Private Cloud Really Says About Amazon Web Services

When the CIA opted to have Amazon build its private cloud, even though IBM could do it for less money, a tech soap opera ensued. Lost amid the drama, though, is a perfectly reasonable explanation why Amazon Web Services makes sense for the CIA--and why a disruptive AWS represents the future of the cloud.

Senators Push to Curb NSA's FISA Authorities

Members of Judiciary Committee express concern over broad-ranging, secretive authorities under Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, push for bill to strengthen oversight, transparency.

Federal IT efforts slowed by weak CIO roles and uneven reporting

Government IT officials tell House subcommittee that reforms are coming in fits and starts, but inconsistent reporting of struggling projects, data center discrepancies and fragmented CIO authorities combine to slow the process.

Our Internet privacy is at risk -- but not dead (yet)

Legislation, stealth technologies, and emerging data privacy markets are proving that the battle for our Internet privacy has only just begun

Bill Gates vows the return of Microsoft Bob

Though roundly ridiculed when it debuted in 1995, Microsoft Bob, or something resembling the short-lived on-screen assistant, will ultimately return, vowed Bill Gates, co-founder and chairman of Microsoft.