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FCW : February 2014
Trending February 2014 FCW.COM 7 records worldwide were exposed to data breaches in 2013 740 million The General Services Administration's Challenge.gov, which uses contests to engage with the public and spark new ideas, won the Innovations in Ameri- can Government Award from the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard Universi- ty's John F. Kennedy School of Gov- ernment. Challenge.gov was chosen from a pool of 600 applicants. GSA launched the site in 2010 in response to a memo from the White House encour- aging the use of contests and prizes to promote open government. Since then, 59 fed- eral agencies have used it to hold more than 300 con- tests that have resulted in new apps, software and other solutions. "The success of Challenge.gov has really been a result of people seeing an opportunity to get outcomes that they might not have been able to real- ize before," said GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini. "It really revolution- izes the way we go to the marketplace and ask people to help us resolve the issues in government." "I think one of the interesting inno- vations about this is that it's a plat- form, it's not just...a program, and it recognizes that there [are] a lot of good ideas that come from crowdsourcing," said Stephen Goldsmith, director of the Innovations in American Govern- ment Program at Harvard. "So I think that the extension of innovation in the citizen response, how can we engage citizens and [solve] problems togeth- er, really is the future of public/private partnership." --- Reid Davenport Challenge.gov claims innovation honor INK TANK Less than two weeks after President Barack Obama issued a directive aimed at reforming the National Secu- rity Agency's surveillance activities, a bipartisan government group called on the White House to end what it called an illegal NSA spying program. But the White House rejected the idea that the collection of bulk meta- data is illegal, leaving up in the air how continued mass data collection --- or its curtailment --- could affect the nation's cybersecurity. The independent Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board released a 233-page report in January recom- mending the shutdown of Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which allows NSA to collect and store Americans' telephone data. The board voted 3-2 in its recom- mendation, but at least one dissenter warned that closing down those activi- ties could have dangerous implications for cybersecurity. "We are a new board and we have a mandate that directs us to advise and conduct oversight with respect to actions taken by the U.S against terror," said board member Elisebeth Collins Cook. "What I meant about this being just the beginning of the conversation is that we are just coming to maturity as a board, but we hope to be involved in the conversation about bulk collec- tion in the future. And I would note there are many who take the position that cyber will require access to or col- lection of mass amounts of data." That conversation will continue in the coming months as the board next examines Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence and Surveillance Act. Sec- tion 702 provides the statutory under- pinning for NSA's Prism program, which collects and stores "the content of electronic communications, includ- ing phone calls and emails, where the targets are reasonably believed to be non-U.S. persons located outside the United States," according to the board's report. --- Amber Corrin What does NSA fallout mean for cyber? Stephen Goldsmith
March 15, 2014