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Recent briefs filed by the federal government make clear that while Fourth Amendment protections cover physical assets, the same rights are not automatically extended to digital information and assets stored online, according to Engadget.

A New York judge expressed similar views in a ruling a few months ago involving Microsoft and an online account for one of its users. The judge ruled that U.S. search warrants apply to digital information, including data stored overseas.

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A new customized dashboard released by the Office of Personnel Management allows federal managers to better analyze employee satisfaction and demographics data. The new dashboard, called UnlockTalent.gov, offers charts, graphs, maps, videos and other tools for analyzing feedback from the annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey and other data sources. The dashboard is intended to help mangers enhance their engagement strategies and ultimately create a culture of excellence for employees, according to OPM

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The updated defense policy states that cyber attacks against NATO member countries are equivalent to attacks with conventional weapons, according to ZDNet. This means that a major digital attack against one NATO member is considered to be an attack against all of them, which “opens the way for members to take action against the aggressor — including the use of armed force — to restore security.”

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The Office of Personnel Management is the latest federal agency to fall victim to cyber hackers, reports the New York Times. The incident took place in March and was traced to China.

Hackers appeared to be targeting files on tens of thousands of employees who have applied for top-secret security clearances. The Times reports that hackers gained access to some OPM databases before federal authorities foiled the attack. A Department of Homeland Security official said the government has not “identified any loss of personally identifiable information.”

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Have you considered offering online tours of your agency to potential hires or recognizing employees publicly via social media for a job well done? Govloop, an online community for government professionals, offers great tips for using technology to attract and retain millennials.

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It’s no secret that the White House has lagged behind the rest of the modern world when it comes to embracing newer technology. Even President Obama has expressed frustration with the White House being 30 years behind the curve.

But a lot has changed at the White House since the president made those remarks in 2011. There’s now a dedicated digital team, hackathons, YouTube interviews and Twitter chats with the president. The Washington Post reports that modern technology has arrived and is changing operations at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, but former administration officials say more can be done.

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The Freedom of Information Act turns 48 on Independence Day. To celebrate, The New Yorker reveals the story behind the law that has transformed how citizens interact with their government.

Lyndon B. Johnson signed the bill into law with little fanfare on July 4, 1966, but he did release a statement that said, in part, “No one should be able to pull curtains of secrecy around decisions which can be revealed without injury to the public interest.”

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Some of the most innovative minds around the globe are proving that human-robot systems can be used for disaster response. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency wants to take that work to the next level during the DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals set for June 2015.

At least 11 teams will compete for a $2 million prize at the competition in Pomona, Calif. The finals will be tougher than the trials competition, in that robots will not be connected to power cords and humans will not be allowed to physically intervene if a robot falls or gets stuck. Read more about the competition here.

 

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Congress is one step closer to passing legislation that would empower federal CIOs and reform the outdated law that governs IT security.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee this week approved three bills by voice vote, including the Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2014, which would shift the focus from agencies producing paper-based security reports to continuous monitoring. Here’s FCW’s summary of the bills.

The committee also approved the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act, which would require CIOs to participate in technology-related budget planning and approve hiring of IT personnel. Federal News Radio reports that the Senate bill "significantly strays from the House version."

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The National Institute of Standards and Technology is reaching out to experts in industry, government and academic to help solve common challenges in the cloud. NIST’s Cloud Computing Program is forming three public working groups to tackle key issues, including software interoperability and data portability in the cloud. Read more about the initiative.

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