Apps for the Army launches, the DoD opens the door to social media, DNI develops a Wiki, and DHS calls for challengers in a cyber contest, all in this week's version of the Rock Creek Roundup.
--This week saw the launch of Apps for the Army, a competition based on the Apps for Democracy model. Apps for the Army will award $30,000 to Army employees for building web or mobile applications that deliver real value to the Army. Teams will have access to a cloud computer service for use during app development, and are free to use the programming language of their choice. This contest is yet another example of the Gov 2.0 leadership we’ve seen from entities within the Department of Defense. Winners will be announced in June, and I’m eager to see what innovative Army teams come up with.
--Is the Internet a "fortress to be defended or a field of maneuver?" According to a blog post on the Department of Defense's Social Media Hub, the DoD looks at the Internet as a field of maneuver with threats that they will train to overcome. The post announces the release of the Department's latest Directive-type Memo 09-026 (PDF) , which spells out "the responsible and effective use of Internet-based capabilities." The post also mentions other tools that the DoD has developed in order to help staffers understand how to better navigate potentially murky Internet waters. One such resource is a downloadable safety checklist (PDF) that provides DoD employees with tips on protecting sensitive information, including a rather clever tip to "Check all photos for indicators in the background or reflective surfaces." We think that this is a huge step in the right direction toward embracing emerging Internet technologies while simultaneously preparing for the risks they bring.
--Nonprofit agencies trying to help with humanitarian efforts in Afghanistan have relied on spotty Google-based e-mails and web-based documents to help them map their safest route across the country—until now. Earlier this week, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence revealed that it is working on creating a wiki-like network that will help nonmilitary groups working within Afghanistan more safely move throughout the tumultuous nation. The wiki will allow the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development to share data with nonprofit agencies. This is an example of using a Web 2.0 technology in an innovative way that will have a real impact on people's lives. Kudos to DNI for making it happen.
--In other security news, the Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced this week the launch of the National Cybersecurity Awareness Campaign Challenge. The challenge, aimed at helping the public become more cyber-savvy, is open to individuals and teams, and winners will be honored at a Washington, DC, event later this spring. Interested in seeing if your team has what it takes to roll out a cybersecurity messaging strategy? Head on over to the challenge page and take a look at the criteria for submitting a proposal. All proposals are due by April 30, 2010.
This is post can also be found on the Rock Creek blog.