Reseller law raises concerns

Office of Management and Budget privacy
guidance on agencies' use of commercial data
brokers is ambiguous, several witnesses testified
at House hearings this month.

Lawmakers are concerned that agencies
often aren't as stringent about privacy when
dealing with reseller data as with data they
collect themselves. Therefore, they are considering
a law to regulate agencies' use of
commercial data brokers.

Police embrace intelligence network

State and local law enforcement agencies are
strengthening their links with Online Secret,
the National Counter Terrorism Center's classified
online information repository, according
to the center's director.

To increase the site's usefulness, the
Interagency Threat Assessment Coordination
Group is preparing an outreach effort to
explain to users what intelligence they can
find on Online Secret and how to access it.

Contractor bill may bite

Prominent contractors could be barred from
government work as a result of a recently
passed House measure, Rep. Tom Davis
(R-Va.) said.

The Contractors and Federal Spending
Accountability Act would create a centralized
database to monitor contractor performance.
Intended for reference use by federal contracting
officers, Davis said, it also would
allow the creation of a blacklist to intimidate
vendors and impose a virtually automatic ban
on some contractors under a controversial
two-strikes-and-you're-out provision.

Small-biz rules clarified

A proposed rule aims to clarify for contracting
officers several procurement rules for
small-business set-asides.

For example, for contracts greater than
$100,000, federal contracting officers must
look at 8(a), Historically Underutilized
Business Zone or veteran-owned small businesses
before letting all small businesses bid.
The comment period for the proposed rule
runs through May 9.

Johns Hopkins tapped for tests

Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics
Laboratory will do independent testing of the
next-generation technology system that the
Homeland Security Department plans to
deploy later this year to secure the border
with Mexico.

DHS hired Boeing in December to develop
the new command and control center and
common operating picture system, which
officials say will replace much of the system
Boeing created under Project 28 in Arizona.

DHS launches border pilots

While the Homeland Security Department
prepares a prototype for protecting the country's
northern border, new technologies
already are being tested in the field, a
Customs and Border Protection report

The federal government is adding border
patrol agents and improving infrastructure
and technologies to protect the border, the
report states.

Judge halts Alliant

A federal judge ordered the General Services
Administration to stop all work on the
$50 billion Alliant contract, ruling that the
agency failed to consistently apply its award
criteria when assessing the bids of the 62

The judge, however, left the door open for
the contract to go forward.

The contracting team must determine how
to proceed, but scrapping the contract is not
one of the options they will consider.

Tech firms fight Md. sales tax

The Maryland information technology community
is fighting hard against a sales tax
passed by the state legislature in November
and set to take effect July 1.

Although it's a state tax, any government
contractor doing business with a federal
agency in the state will feel its impact: It
requires companies to pay a 6 percent tax on
the sale of computer services.

AF aims to disrupt cyberattacks

The new Air Force Cyber Command issued a
strategic vision statement outlining its goal of
strengthening cyberspace capabilities to
defend national interests.

The Cyber Command's vision is to develop
capabilities to defend against cyberattacks,
respond to hostile attackers in cyberspace
and integrate those abilities with the military's
other systems.

Funding urged for IT initiatives

The Business Software Alliance wants
Congress to fully fund high-tech initiatives in
President Bush's fiscal 2009 budget.
Those initiatives include cybercrime
efforts, technology used by the FBI and international
trade. BSA also wants Congress to
improve the nation's patent system and
increase data security.

ODNI examines virtual worlds

Online gaming and virtual worlds are targets
for federal data-mining research as a possible
source of intelligence about terrorist activity,
a report by the Office of the Director of
National Intelligence said.

The goal of the project, called Reynard,
which is French for fox, is to "determine the
feasibility of automatically detecting suspicious
behavior and actions in the virtual
world," according to ODNI.

Securing internal networks

The Defense Department is working
with contractors to shore up data security on
their internal networks one company at a

DOD is negotiating agreements with individual
companies ? starting with large integrators
? to protect sensitive or controlled
but unclassified information on their internal
networks, a DOD official said.

Canada updates security

The Canada Border Services Agency will
release a draft this month of its updated
security measures for Canadian transportation
and trade companies that want preferential
treatment in trade with the United

The new measures will go into effect June
30 if the agency approves the draft provisions
after the comment period.

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