Federal Drive Show Blog – May 16, 2013

This is the Federal Drive show blog. Here you can listen to the interviews, find more information about the guests on the show each day and links to additional resources.

Today’s guests:


Gabe Rottman
legislative and policy advisor
American Civil Liberties Union

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Information the government wants to keep secret gets leaked to a reporter. A sensational story appears. The administration thinks there was a national security breach. It goes after the telephone records of the news organization. We’ve heard this story before. The latest version is playing now at the Justice Department and Associated Press.

Michael Sussmann
partner in the Privacy and Security group
Perkins Coie

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Revelations that the Justice Department tracked phone calls of Associated Press reporters remind us the government is watching. But collecting phone records is old-school. Various media reports suggest the White House is considering expanding wiretap laws so that law enforcement can eavesdrop on Internet communications. Online chats and Voice-over-Internet-protocol services, like Skype, are of particular interest. Joining us to discuss the prospect is privacy-and-data-security lawyer Michael Sussmann.

Steve Kousen
vice president and technology executive

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The National Archives and Records Administration has a big granite building right smack in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue. With columns each weighing 95 tons. But the whole thing has moved up to the cloud. Now, 4,500 NARA employees are using cloud e-mail and other applications, the latest agency to move to cloud computing.

From Our Reporters

In the year since the Office of Management and Budget released the Digital Government Strategy, agencies have slowly begun to change. Topping that effort with the new open government executive order and memo released last week, and federal chief information officer Steven VanRoekel says the government is ready to unleash the potential of data. Federal News Radio’s executive editor Jason Miller explains why VanRoekel is so optimistic.

DoD has learned several times that its original security approval process for mobile devices wasn’t up to the task. By the time handhelds worked their way through the bureaucracy, they were off the market. This week brought a change to that dynamic though. DoD issued a formal security approval, known as a STIG, for Samsung Knox, a hardened version of Android, before the mobile operating system even reached the marketplace. John Hickey is the mobility program manager for the Defense Information Systems Agency. He talked with Federal News Radio’s Jared Serbu about how the department pulled off the quick approval.


IRS To Be Closed May 24, Four Other Days Due to Budget and Sequester; Filing and Payment Deadlines Unchanged (IRS)

89 charged in Medicare fraud busts in 8 cities (Federal News Radio)

VA Mandates Overtime to Increase Production of Compensation Claims Decisions (VA)

Obama: IRS acting commissioner being ousted (Federal News Radio)

GOP demands more despite Benghazi email release (Federal News Radio)

Senate confirms former nurse to run Medicare (Federal News Radio)

HHS Secretary Sebelius announces Senate confirmation of Marilyn Tavenner (HHS)

Intelligence Community free from furloughs (Federal News Radio)

U.S. to monitor cybersecurity risks as car connectivity grows (Automotive News)

House spending panel backs joint Defense-VA electronic health record (Nextgov)

Defense Department is still juggling its furlough and budget plans McAleese and Associates

New National Strategy for the Arctic Region has Implications for Navy (Navy)