Welcome to MeriTalk News Briefs, where we bring you all the day’s action that didn’t quite make the headlines. No need to shout about ‘em, but we do feel that they merit talk.

CSIS Report on Accessing Digital Evidence

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) released a report today detailing the struggles facing law enforcement when it comes to accessing digital evidence, as well as evidence-based solutions. When it comes to accessing digital evidence, the top-of-mind case study is the FBI’s struggle with Apple over accessing the locked phone of one of the perpetrators of the 2015 San Bernardino shootings. However, accessing data on locked or encrypted devices wasn’t law enforcement’s biggest concern. Rather, 30 percent of law enforcement said their biggest challenge was not knowing which technology or telecommunications companies held the data they needed, as opposed to 19 percent saying the biggest concern was not being able to access data on a device. In the report, CSIS gave evidence-based solutions for Federal, state, and local law enforcement, judges, and technology providers. “This is a problem that has not received adequate attention or resources to date,” the report explains. “Any workable solution will require renewed efforts from both law enforcement and service providers. It will require a national commitment, adequate resourcing, and a shift in policy. But the costs are moderate and the payoffs likely large.”

NASA Awards $107M Data Center Contract

NASA awarded Alabama-based Colsa Corp. a $107 million contract to operate a data center that provides shared services to other Federal agencies. The new contract is the second version of the National Center for Critical Information Processing and Storage contract. The contract begins on Aug. 1 and has a 60-day phase-in period, according to NASA. The contract begins with a one-year base period followed by four one-year options and three one-year award term options. Under the contract, Colsa will provide secure facility operations, maintenance, management, environmental analysis, energy management, information technology, system power and network integration.

Booz Allen Receives $92M Navy Cyber Task Order

The U.S. Navy awarded Booz Allen Hamilton a $92 million cyber task order. The five-year order contracts Booz Allen to provide cybersecurity, technical and program management services to the Navy. The order supports the Information Assurance and Cyber Security Program Office within Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command.

Senate Intel Committee Holds Confirmation Hearing

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence held a confirmation hearing today for two intelligence appointees. Ret. Vice Admiral Joseph Maguire is nominated to be the director of the National Counterterrorism Center and Ellen E. McCarthy is seeking confirmation to be assistant secretary of State for Intelligence and Research at the Department of State. The hearing was overwhelmingly positive and focused extensively on their lengthy experience and what Vice Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., called their “willingness to speak truth to power.” Both Sen. Warner and Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., expressed a desire to quickly move along Maguire and McCarthy’s confirmations. Burr said he expects the committee to vote on the confirmations some time next week.

Accenture Security Hires Howard Marshall

Accenture Security announced yesterday that it has hired Howard Marshall as the new intelligence director for its cyber threat intelligence services. Prior to joining the private sector, Marshall served as deputy director in the FBI’s Cyber Division. He had a 20-year career with the FBI in a variety of cybersecurity and leadership positions. In the new role, Marshall will lead Accenture’s iDefense threat intelligence operations and direct a team that provides research and analysis on threat actors, industry vertical specific threats, new malware variants, software vulnerabilities and emerging targeted cyberattacks.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk's Assistant Copy & Production Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.