New DHS headquarters ‘a monument to mismanagement’

Two prominent House Republicans reprimanded the Department of Homeland Security and the General Services Administration last week for mismanaging the construction of the new DHS headquarters facility, which officials say is more than $1 billion over budget and not expected to be completed for another 12 years.

Up & Comers: DHS’ Joel Mulligan

Mulligan has only been at DHS for four months, but despite his youth in government years, he still has a hand in the latest cybersecurity-related information studied by the department on a daily basis.

Light particles may hold the keys to a revolution in encryption

The largest information technology licensing deal ever signed by the Energy Department’s Los Alamos National Laboratory may one day produce uncrackable encryption for use use in personal communications, e-commerce, banking and critical infrastructure data transfer.

CBP CTO Wolf Tombe on lowering the cost of government with IT

Wolf Tombe, chief technology officer for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, discusses how his agency is using IT to lower the cost of operations.

Can the federal acquisition process support innovation?

There is widespread agreement that the federal government’s process for acquiring goods and services needs to change to enable agencies to keep pace with the rapid pace of technology development. But there is growing concern that the government cannot truly support innovation without a dramatic simplification of the rules.

Feds working to overcome challenges, early failures in public-facing mobile apps

As agencies continually release public-facing mobile apps to better serve American citizens, the directors and strategists behind their creation are the first to admit there is room for improvement.

DHS grant programs come under scrutiny in aftermath of Ferguson riots

The images coming out of Ferguson, Missouri, have put the pentagon on the defensive as mainstream media outlets question the department’s program to transfer excess military equipment to state and local law enforcement agencies. But the so-called militarization of local police departments may have less to do with the Pentagon and far more to do with post-9/11 Department of Homeland Security counterterrorism grant programs.

New CBP-backed app allows U.S. citizens to skip the customs line

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is trying to make international travel a little less arduous for people entering the United States.

Agencies have big information gap when it comes to CDM

A SANS institute survey says the Department of Homeland Security’s CDM program needs better word-of-mouth among government agencies.

DHS, FBI investigating contractor hack

Federal law enforcement authorities are investigating a hacking incident at a contractor responsible for conducting background investigations for the Department of Homeland Security. Company officials said cybersecurity experts believe the intrusion “has all the markings of a state-sponsored attack.”

5 IT legislative initiatives that went nowhere before recess

As August begins, the inhabitants of the Capitol building are skipping town for five weeks. In its exit, the legislative branch left several IT bills left unfinished on the table and will have less than two months before November’s midterm election and about four months until the 114th Congress takes office to address some of the major technology issues.

Agencies showcase disaster tech at White House Demo Day

More than a half dozen agencies and just under 20 private companies met at the White House July 29 to highlight new digital tools to help citizens cope in the aftermath of a disaster.

CBP’s Wolf Tombe on innovating federal government

Wolf Tombe, chief technology officer for the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection, discusses with FedScoopTV his leadership innovating “the nation’s largest law enforcement organization.”

Credible intelligence behind TSA policy change on electronics

The director of TSA acknowledged Thursday the existence of credible intelligence that led the agency July 2 to require passengers at certain overseas airports to power on their electronics devices before boarding direct flights to the United States.

USGS 3-D mapping data aims to save lives and money

The Interior Department’s U.S. Geological Survey, along with several other federal agencies, launched a $13.1 million partnership called the 3-D Elevation Program earlier in July. Working together with academia, private companies and state and local governments, the agencies aim to develop 3-D mapping and enhanced elevation data of the U.S. for more accurate topographical representations.

Significant national security challenges remain 10 years after 9/11 commission report

A decade after the 9/11 Commission issued its final report on the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States, the threat from global terrorism may be more pronounced than ever, with major new vulnerabilities emerging in cyberspace and a Congressional homeland security oversight system plagued by duplication and turf battles.

Cybercom event explores agency roles in cyber incident response

Cybersecurity and incident response are practices engrained in most every 21st century federal agency. But when it comes to a massive cyber attack requiring the aid of multiple, partnering groups, which agency does what? Last week, the U.S. Cyber Command demonstrated a specific framework for how several critical agencies can play complementary roles in the national cyber incident response process.

Anti-social: Feds wonder why social media companies drag feet on accessibility issues

The Federal Communications Commission hosted a panel of experts Thursday to talk about the challenges and ongoing need to make social media platforms more accessible to those with disabilities. But there was one group of representatives that was notably absent from the proceedings: the social media companies themselves.

GSA rolls out dashboard for Connections II purchases

Accessing non-classified government purchasing data just got a little easier with the launch of the General Services Administration’s Connections II dashboard.

Miller calls on VA to answer for cybersecurity shortfalls

House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., has called on five senior VA officials, including Acting Secretary Sloan Gibson, to testify at next week’s scheduled hearing on “longstanding information security weaknesses” that have enabled “data manipulation” throughout the agency.

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