The Weekend Reader-Nov. 18

Industry Insider: What’s Happening in IT

Insider smallMeriTalk compiles a weekly roundup of contracts and other industry activity. Stay up to date on everything that’s happening in the Federal Information Technology community. keeps you informed about the topics that mean the most to you and creates a targeted platform for cooperation, public-private dialogue, highlighting innovation, and sharing informed opinions. This week: News from Amazon Web Services, Department of Defense, Octo Consulting Group, and more.

Extreme Vetting Will Require Smarter Data, DHS Expert Says

meritalk.comPresident-elect Donald Trump ran his campaign on the commitment to remove illegal Mexican residents and temporarily ban Muslims from entering the country. Extreme vetting policies would logically accompany these stringent immigration goals. “We need to avoid data glut and information overload,” said Donna Roy of DHS.



Snowden Warns Against Putting ‘Faith or Fear’ in Trump“What we need to start thinking about now is not how we defend against a President-elect Trump, but how we defend the rights of everyone everywhere,” according to Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency contractor responsible for leaking information about the U.S. government’s mass surveillance program in 2013. Snowden said the Internet is a tool that was built to empower people, but too often it is used by authoritarian governments to disempower dissenters. To overcome this problem, Snowden said that technology companies need to ensure every communication system is “protected by default” from end to end across the world.

Its Privacy vs. Innovation in Wild West of Augmented Reality

meritalk.comIn the “Wild West” of augmented reality applications, the U.S. government has to balance the concerns of helping to protect consumer privacy and security while also leaving room for companies to freely innovate, according to witnesses at a Senate Energy and Commerce hearing. It doesn’t always feel like there’s a sheriff out there to help out,” said John Hanke of Niantic. On the other side of the spectrum, white hat hackers, whose aim is to discover vulnerabilities in AR software and help companies patch them, worry that they will be prosecuted for their work. “We worry that our reverse engineering or our attempts to figure out what the flaws might be with a device will be met with legal challenges,” said Ryan Calo.


State Department Leads the Flock in Twitter Usage Among Federal Agencies

meritalk.comAgency Twitter use has become an important factor in communication between the Federal community and the public. Agencies that have the best Twitter strategy, such as the State Department, tend to have been present on Twitter for the longest and have picked up the most followers. MeriTalk studied the Twitter accounts of 15 agencies to determine number of followers, number of tweets, and year that the Twitter accounts were created to determine which agencies are the most successful on the social media site.