What’s the role of digital privacy in the Petraeus scandal? Plus the DorobekINSIDER’s 7 Stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:

  • 4 years in any technology cycle is a lifetime. Think about this – 4 years ago BYOD wasn’t even a possibility and tablets still seemed like a dream. So how can the government keep up? And more importantly how can the government utilize the latest and greatest technology to support its mission? Click here for the full recap.

But up front:

Proud to announce results of PortfolioStat: Over $2B in FedIT Savings: “Innovate with Less” just got a CAPEX infusion!

Check out our interview with Andrew McMahon the senior advisor at the Office of Management and Budget and PortfolioStat lead.

Petraeus Case Raises Fears About Privacy in Digital Era

The F.B.I. investigation that toppled David H. Petraeus, the director of the C.I.A., underscores a danger that civil libertarians have long warned about.

Meanwhile the scandal has moved on to Capitol Hill. Lawmakers have returned from a long election-season break. Now they’re digging into the tangled tale of emails that exposed an extramarital affair of former Gen. David Petraeus. Acting CIA director Michael Morell met with Senate Intelligence Committee members, who want to know if Petraeus’ mistress had access to classified files. President Obama is expected to talk about the Petraeus episode in his press conference this afternoon. Marine Gen. John Allen, who succeeded Petraeus at Central Command, is fighting for his career. Pentagon investigators are looking into his email relationship with a socialite linked to the Petraeus scandal.

The SEVEN stories that impact your life

  1. The Office of Personnel Management is changing how it refers to the bad weather operating status of the government. Now when federal offices are closed for weather or other emergencies, OPM says: “Federal offices are closed. Federal employees required to work should follow their agency’s policies.” Offices closed means non-emergency employees are not expected to show up. They’ll get the day off at no charge to their leave balance. But it doesn’t mean the government is closed. Emergency employees and teleworkers will still have to to work. OPM said it changed the language because of confusion during Hurricane Sandy.
  2. Major U.S. companies including General Dynamics Corp. and Medtronic Inc. have received billions of dollars in federal government contracts that were supposed to go to small businesses.Analysts at Bloomberg Government crunched the numbers. They found big firms got 45 percent of the more-than-$10 billion intended for small businesses in fiscal 2011. Experts attribute it to an overwhelmed federal acquisition workforce that doesn’t take the time to find qualified small firms. They also say there are too many exemptions and lax enforcement of the rules. Advocates say the Small Business Administration and President Barack Obama need to fix the situation now.
  3. A federal whistleblower bill years in the making has finally passed Congress, and it’s done so with the support of every lawmaker. Federal News Radio says the Senate yesterday gave unanimous final approval. That mirrors House action in September. The measure expands protections for feds who expose waste, fraud and abuse. It protects TSA employees for the first time, but it does not include national-security employees. President Obama has issued an executive order protecting them.
  4. Bid protests have risen to their highest level in nearly 20 years. Protests rose 5 percent last year to just shy of 2,500, the highest since 1995. The Government Accountability Office said in its annual letter to Congress that protests had been trending up since 2007. Federal News Radio says in 2012, GAO only had to make decisions on a small portion of the cases. Most are resolved when the agency withdraws the contract award, or when companies withdraw their protests. Of the cases it did decide, GAO mostly ruled in favor of the government.
  5. After nearly a year since the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) that had millions of citizens in an outrage, U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) has introduced two bills to keep the Internet free. “We need to do more than just halt bad legislation, we also need to improve existing laws and make government work in the interests of innovation and Internet freedom,” she writes in her Tech Crunch op-ed.
  6. In the first half of 2012, US agencies asked Google to hand over user data almost 8,000 times, Technology Review reports. The data helps the U.S. government and law enforcement agencies with investigations, such as what a person searches for, who they email and which IP address they log in from.
  7. And on GovLoop, have you seen our new Path to PMF guide. The interactive website and guide designed to support prospective PMF applicants. Through 100% free online and downloadable resources (no, there is no catch!), the site pulls together insights from more than 60 current and former PMFs, 10 career advisors and agency program coordinators with blogs, videos and discussion forums that help prospective PMF applicants gain information and assistance to navigate every stage of the prestigious PMF application process. Check it out.

A few items from the DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder

  • Text Messaging Declines in U.S. for First Time. The amount of messages people send with their phones has dropped because Internet-powered alternatives are becoming widely used, according to a report published Monday by an independent mobile analyst.
  • For the first time, the American wireless market saw a decline in the total number of messages sent by each customer each month, according to a report published Monday by Chetan Sharma, an independent mobile analyst who is a consultant for wireless carriers. In the third quarter of this year, cellphone owners sent an average of 678 texts a month, down from 696 texts a month in the previous quarter.
  • You Too Can Be Nate Silver
  • TechNewsDaily: Top 5 Tech Initiatives for Obama’s Second Term.

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