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2:57 am, April 17, 2014

Department of Commerce News

Dianna Parker, Communications Specialist, Marine Debris Program

The search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has covered hundreds of thousands miles of ocean, and the plane still hasn't turned up. But the search has highlighted a growing problem in the oceans: giant blobs of garbage. The Marine Debris Program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tracks the problem. The program's mission is to protect and conserve the marine environment and natural resources. Spokesperson Dianna Parker says trash often gets caught in gyres.

Friday - 04/04/2014, 10:33am EDT
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NIST, DHS push for more engagement around cyber framework

Federal officials say they need help from Congress to ensure companies are protected under the law for sharing cyber information with the government. Officials also say building up the cyber workforce is a top concern.

Thursday - 03/27/2014, 04:18am EDT
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White House issues new tools to fight patent trolls

Federal CTO Todd Park and other White House officials unveiled a new set of initiatives Thursday designed to help businesses and consumers avoid unnecessary and costly patent litigation.

Friday - 02/21/2014, 04:05pm EST

Commerce CIO Szykman to leave after 7 years

Simon Szykman announced to staff today he is leaving the agency to work in the private sector. He said he has no plans yet and will stay at the agency until a new CIO is hired. Additionally, Anil Karmel has left the NNSA after serving more than two years as the deputy chief technology officer to launch his own cloud computing company.

Thursday - 02/20/2014, 03:34pm EST

Maryland signs cybersecurity agreement with NIST

Maryland officials have signed an agreement with the National Institute of Standards and Technology to more clearly define the development of the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence in the state.

Tuesday - 02/18/2014, 01:20pm EST

Agencies highlight accomplishments, prepare for new performance goals

The White House will release an updated list of agency high-priority goals and cross-agency priority goals with the annual budget request to Congress in March. Meanwhile, the Office of Management and Budget detailed agency successes over the last two years in meeting current goals.

Friday - 02/14/2014, 05:07am EST
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VA adds, NIST loses senior executive

The Senate confirmed Sloan Gibson to be the next deputy secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs. The director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Patrick Gallagher, is heading off to academia.

Thursday - 02/13/2014, 09:24am EST

IGs to propose cyber maturity model to better gauge federal cyber health

The goal is to more accurately evaluate the security of the government's computer networks and systems. These efforts could bring more consistency to the cyber auditing process and engender more confidence in its results.

Thursday - 02/06/2014, 04:45am EST
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NOAA cancels hiring freeze, lifts training ban

Kathryn Sullivan, the acting under secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, sent an email to staff today announcing she was lifting the hiring freeze ban on non-mandatory training NOAA put in place last year to offset the impact of sequestration.

Friday - 01/31/2014, 01:57pm EST

Agencies settling in on better privacy controls

More agencies are recognizing the growing importance of keeping data private after recent information leaks and cyber breaches. The Federal Trade Commission is among the agencies at the head of the pack and is relying on best practices.

Wednesday - 01/29/2014, 03:45am EST
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Commerce reaps savings through collaborative strategic-sourcing effort

The chief information and chief technology offices at the Commerce Department have generated more than $200 million in savings by taking a collaborative approach to purchasing IT and cybersecurity products.

Wednesday - 11/20/2013, 01:39pm EST
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Agencies exploring the right balance between open data, security

HHS is using big data to improve the cybersecurity of their systems, but also using a layered approach to protect the information. Commerce wants to improve the governance and usability of its data. USDA is creating a big data strategy.

Friday - 09/27/2013, 05:39am EDT
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NIST puts finishing touches on critical infrastructure cyber framework

The preliminary version of the framework will be published in mid-October, followed by several months of public comment. NIST plans a final release of the voluntary framework in February.

Thursday - 09/26/2013, 06:23am EDT
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Feds developing 'Richter' scale for wildfires

Federal researchers developing scale for wildfire similar to those used for quakes, tornadoes

Tuesday - 09/24/2013, 09:32pm EDT

White House details initial ideas for industry cyber incentives

The departments of Commerce, Homeland Security and Treasury submitted suggestions to the White House on what incentives the government can offer to induce critical infrastructure providers to use the cybersecurity framework to improve their systems and networks. NIST is leading an effort to develop the framework with industry.

Wednesday - 08/07/2013, 06:28am EDT

EDA's overreaction to cyber attack highlights every agency's challenge

The Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration spent almost $3 million to remediate a cyber attack that really didn't happen. Commerce's inspector general found the attack infected only two outgoing email servers and not more than half of EDA's systems. Two cybersecurity experts say other agencies can learn from EDA's year-long unnecessary and expensive recovery.

Monday - 07/08/2013, 05:34am EDT

Senate confirms Pritzker as commerce secretary

Senate confirms billionaire Penny Pritzker as commerce secretary, filling longtime vacancy

Tuesday - 06/25/2013, 10:30pm EDT

Rep. Issa heading down familiar path for IT reform; Senate still in discovery mode

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) plans to offer the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) as an amendment later this week to the 2013 Defense Authorization bill. The Senate held a hearing looking at the best approach to empower federal CIOs. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee heard that transparency, visibility and senior leadership are common traits among successful CIOs.

Wednesday - 06/12/2013, 05:26am EDT

2 Obama cabinet nominees clear Senate committee

Obama's nominees to head Commerce, Transportation win Senate committee approval

Tuesday - 06/11/2013, 10:10am EDT

Inside the Reporter's Notebook: Reverse auctions for IT; DHS' answers not satisfying; Contractor salary cap proposal returns

News and buzz in the acquisition and IT communities that you may have missed this week.

Tuesday - 05/28/2013, 05:30am EDT
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