News Feature | December 17, 2013

Government IT News For VARs — December 17, 2013

Bernadette Wilson

By Bernadette Wilson


In the news, Microsoft takes steps to ensure customers the government will have to legally access Internet data — not take it through technological means. Also, industry executives weigh in on the safety of police mobile apps, and the GSA’s OS3 could help more companies do business with the government.

Microsoft Addresses Customer Concerns About Government Surveillance

Microsoft’s blog includes a post from Brad Smith, general counsel and executive VP of legal and corporate affairs for Microsoft. In the post, he addresses the fact that Microsoft’s customers are concerned about government surveillance of the Internet, and says, “We are taking steps to ensure governments use legal process rather than technological brute force to access customer data.” He expands on steps Microsoft is taking in three areas: expanding encryption, reinforcing legal protection for customer data, and enhancing the transparency of the company’s software code to make it easier for customers to see that the products do not contain back doors.

Industry Roundtable Discusses The Safety Of Police Mobile Apps interviews four industry leaders for the article “Police Mobile App Roundtable: Are they safe to use?” Representatives of, Intrepid Networks, Code 3, Inc., and Ten 8 Industries, discuss developing apps for various operating systems, balancing app use with situational awareness, and BYOD (bring your own device) programs in police forces.

SMBs Could Have New Opportunities To Do Business With The Government

The General Services Administration has released a draft of an office supply strategic source contract, OS3. If the draft becomes final, the OS3 could help businesses do business with the government despite not being included in a GSA schedule, but in order to bid, they have to be registered in System for Award Management (SAM).

Government Technology Trends For 2014 Include Mobility, Virtualization

A Government Technology article predicts trends for government technology in 2014. Among the predictions are a shift to mobility and virtual training. Some of the predictions relate to how government agencies use technology, such as addressing deep mission problems like criminal justice and procurement reform.

Government IT Talking Points

An E-Commerce Times article reports on a recent White House conference on Big Data that highlighted public-private partnerships using Big Data in more than 30 projects. The Partnership for Public Service also released the report “From Data to Decisions III: Lessons from Early Analytics Programs.” According to the article, a significant lesson learned is that although there is little dispute about the benefits of managing and analyzing data, showing ROI is a challenge.

GCN’s website has a three-part series on essential Big Data tools for government. Among the tools is sound infrastructure with adequate storage — including cloud storage — and bandwidth. The series also looks at tools for data ingestion, retrieval, integration, and analytics.

CIO Review released its list of the 20 Most Promising Government Technology Solution Providers of 2013. CIO Review describes the list as “the ones that are at the forefront of tackling challenges related to government industry.”