News Feature | July 1, 2014

Government IT News For VARs — July 1, 2014

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

Government IT News For VARs

This week in the news, there are signs that the administration is leaning towards a voluntary, collaborative approach to cybersecurity. Also, Democrats continue to push for net neutrality, fearing the development of tiered access to the Internet. The NIST also is forming new cloud working groups to examine the existing cloud services to inform buyers about products and services, and the commerce secretary has pledged to embrace open data for business and industry. 

White House Leaning Toward Public-Private Collaboration In Cybersecurity

Although there are signs that the administration's is leaning toward a voluntary approach, legislation might still be necessary to bring the private sector completely on board for a national, government-industry program for the prevention or containment of cyberattacks, as this article from ecommerce times explains. The challenge is for Congress to craft a bill that provides incentives for business cooperation while minimizing burdensome regulation.

Democrats Continue to Push Net Neutrality

Ecommerce times reports that Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA), member of the House Energy Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, introduced the Online Competition and Consumer Choice Act, which would require the Federal Communications Commission to ban “paid prioritization” agreements between a broadband provider and a content provider. It is not the first effort to oppose the FCC’s attempts to create tiered Internet access.  It is clear that the net neutrality issue will not be resolved quickly. 

NIST Forms New Cloud Working Groups

The National Institute of Standards and Technology announced three public working groups to address cloud services, federated community cloud, and interoperability and portability. The working groups are being formed to address requirements laid out in the Cloud Computing Standards and Technology Roadmap. Using the NIST Cloud Computing Reference Architecture, the groups will provide consistent categories of cloud services so buyers know what they are committing to before signing potentially costly, long-term contracts.

Commerce Secretary Pledges Full Embrace Of Open Data

In a guest blog post on, Bruce Andrews, the Commerce Department’s acting deputy secretary, outlined the agency’s mission and vowed to redouble its efforts to make put more data as well as tools to manage it into the hands of business and industry. Andrews wrote, “For the first time, Secretary Pritzker has made data a top priority for Commerce — part of the heart and soul for our strategy to strengthen our economy and deliver the tools and information needed to bolster our businesses.”

Government IT Talking Points

GCN  reported that IBM and AT&T have teamed up to provide government managers a way to analyze and visualize streams of operational data that could be used to improve services required in hosting a major event, using a cloud-based service called Event Management for Smart Cities. The solution leverages Internet of Things technologies and IBM Smarter Cities Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) to help manage an event lifecycle.

For more news and insights, visit BSMinfo’s Government IT Resource Center.