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On Tuesday, the Defense Department released updated security requirements for hosting military data in the cloud.

The Cloud Computing Security Requirements Guide (SRG) builds on Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) standards and applies to both commercial and DOD cloud service providers. The document incorporates feedback from industry and DOD stakeholders and is expected to be updated quarterly, according to a Jan. 12 memo about the new requirements developed by the Defense Information Systems Agency.

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The new U.S. chief technology officer Megan Smith has a direct line of communication to President Barack Obama, but there’s a few things she lacks: a budget and authority over other agencies.

“The problem, technology experts say, is that the mandate of the chief technology officer has been nebulous since Mr. Obama created the job five years ago, not least because it does not come with a substantial funding stream, a crucial source of power in the government,” according to a recent New York Times article.

Whether this will impact Smith’s ability to get work done is yet to be seen. 

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The maker movement is in full swing at the White House, and even President Barack Obama is getting involved. He recently became the first sitting president to have his likeness recreated in a 3D portrait. Check out this behind-the-scenes video below to see the full process from start to finish. The final product is on display at the Commons Gallery of the Smithsonian Castle in Washington, D.C.

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If you're an IT professional working for a state, local or federal agency, we want to hear from you.

FedTech wants to know what’s on your Christmas wish list this year. Smartphones for all field employees? A cloud-based solution or continuous monitoring tools to enhance security? It doesn’t have to be technology. Your wish may be for greater collaboration with the agencies you serve, a new BYOD policy or for employees to stop using the same password for multiple systems.

Email your wish-list items to nicole.johnson@mcmurrytmg.com, along with your name and title. You can also respond in the comment section below.

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Video conferencing is projected to be the preferred method of remote collaboration for 2016, according to a Polycom survey of more than 1,200 IT decision-makers. Federal IT leaders find that it provides a viable option for agencies as travel budgets shrink and scrutiny of large, face-to-face government conferences continues.

A 2012 study by the Telework Exchange found that federal employees could save 3.5 hours a week, on average, by using video conferencing. Technology Insights, a new app from CDW, can help agencies find best practices and strategies for making video conferencing a success. Learn more by scanning the app's QR code below or clicking here.

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Here's what federal executives are saying about embracing cloud, connected devices and new endeavors: 

"New standards will be necessary to manage the coming horde of Internet-connected devices."@tseronis (Peter Tseronis, Chief Technology Officer, Energy Department)

"Just Announced: I will be joining @USAID to help with the #EbolaResponse as Chief Innovation Officer." @stevenvDC (Steven VanRoekel, former Federal CIO)

"Moving 2 a JIE [Joint Information Environment] would position DoD 2 take more advantage of mobile & cloud —DoD Dep CIO 4 Cyber Security [John] Hale."@USDISA (Official account of the Defense Information Systems Agency)

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The White House is on a mission to bring a Silicon Valley mindset to government. The 2012 launch of the Presidential Innovation Fellows program and the creation of the General Services Administration's digital hub, known as 18F, are fruits of that labor. But that's not all.

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Unclassified White House computer networks were hacked in recent weeks, forcing a temporary shutdown of virtual private network access to mitigate the intrusion, according to the Washington Post. It isn't clear if any data were compromised or how the breach was discovered. Sources say an ally alerted U.S. officials of the breach.  

Russian hackers are the suspected culprits, but the White House has not publicly disclosed details about the breach. Anonymous White House sources told the Post that hackers did not damage any systems and the classified network doesn't appear to have been breached. The National Security Agency, Secret Service and FBI are investigating the incident. Read more here

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