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Category Archives: E-Government

A day in the life of a data mined kid – report

Adrienne Hill: “Education, like pretty much everything else in our lives these days, is driven by data. Our childrens’ data. A whole lot of it. Nearly everything they do at school can be — and often is — recorded and tracked, and parents don’t always know what information is being collected, where it’s going, or how it’s being used. The story begins at the bus stop. Your child swipes his ID card and climbs on the bus. The card may contain an RFID or  radio frequency identification chip, which lets the school know when he gets on and off the bus. In some school districts, parents will get text alerts, letting them know their child arrived safely to school. The bus technology is presented as a way to keep children safer. “The data collection begins even before he steps into the school,” says Khaliah Barnes, director of the Student Privacy Project at the Electronic Privacy Information Center. And, says Barnes, in some schools it just keeps on going. RFID chips let schools track kids on school grounds. Administrators could know if a child leaves the building, or if he visits the school counselor. “The issue is that this reveals specifically sensitive information,” says Barnes. Location information is just one small part of a child’s data file. In the classroom, teachers gather data on routine things like attendance, tardiness, test scores and grades. The kinds of records that used to be kept on paper. In most states, the data are fed into a giant database, known as a “statewide longitudinal data system.” Different states collect different elements of personal student data. (You can look up your state here.)”

Federal Open Payments Database Tracking Pharma Arriving September 30

KFF – Shefali Luthra: “Despite technical glitches, the federal “Open Payments” database – which tracks pharmaceutical company contributions to doctors and teaching hospitals – remains on track for its scheduled Sept. 30 launch, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services confirmed. It was mandated by a sunshine act included in the federal health law seeking to ease concerns that pharmaceuticalContinue Reading

Treasure Map: The NSA Breach of Telekom and Other German Firms

Spiegel Online - Andy Müller-Maguhn, Laura Poitras, Marcel Rosenbach and Michael Sontheimer:  [Treaure Map] “is the mandate for a massive raid on the digital world. It aims to map the Internet, and not just the large traffic channels, such as telecommunications cables. It also seeks to identify the devices across which our data flows, so-called routers. Furthermore, every single endContinue Reading

FindTheBest Launches Agency Spending Topic

Nina Quattrocchi - FindTheBest – A Research Engine: “The government awards trillions of taxpayer dollars every year in contracts, grants, and loans, and it’s nearly impossible to keep track of where that money is going. Thousands of new businesses are created in the US each year, and it’s hard for those young companies to know where toContinue Reading

Newly Revealed NSA Program ICREACH Extends the NSA’s Reach Even Further

EFF:  Turns out, the DEA and FBI may know what medical conditions you have, whether you are having an affair, where you were last night, and more—all without any knowing that you have ever broken a law. That’s because the DEA and FBI, as part of over 1000 analysts at 23 U.S. intelligence agencies, have the abilityContinue Reading

18F launches alpha foia.gov

Via E Pluribus Unum, Alexander B. Howard: “18F, the federal government’s new IT development shop, has launched a new look at the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in the form of a open source application hosted on Github. Today’s announcement is the most substantive evidence yet that the Obama administration will indeed modernize the Freedom of Information Act, as the UnitedContinue Reading

Digital Transformations: Wiring the Responsive City

Via Harvard Kennedy School – “This is the fifth in an article series based on Stephen Goldsmith’s paper “Digital Transformations: Wiring the Responsive City.” Click here to read the report in full. “For decades, criminal-justice officials, advised by the results of good research, used data to drive performance. As a district attorney 30 years ago in Indiana, I usedContinue Reading

Trends in Smokeless Tobacco Use and Initiation: 2002 to 2012

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (July 24, 2014). The NSDUH Report: Trends in Smokeless Tobacco Use and Initiation: 2002 to 2012. Rockville, MD. “In 2012, 3.5 percent of persons aged 12 or older (an estimated 9.0 million persons) used smokeless tobacco in the past month. Rates of pastContinue Reading

FBI Digitizes Millions of Files

“The digital conversion of more than 30 million records—and as many as 83 million fingerprint cards—comes as the FBI fully activates its Next Generation Identification (NGI) system, a state-of-the-art digital platform of biometric and other types of identity information. The system, which is incrementally replacing the Bureau’s Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System, or IAFIS, willContinue Reading

City72 open-source emergency preparedness platform

“An effective preparedness platform customizable to your city. City72 is an open-source emergency preparedness platform that promotes community resilience and connection. This Toolkit is designed specifically for emergency preparedness organizations and provides the information and resources to create a customized City72 site for any city or region. It includes: how to create localized content, access to the code toContinue Reading

The executive order that led to mass spying, as told by NSA alumni

Cyrus Farivar - Ars Technica: [Executive Order] 12333 is used to target foreigners abroad, and collection happens outside the US,” whistleblower John Tye, a former State Department official, told Ars recently. “My complaint is not that they’re using it to target Americans, my complaint is that the volume of incidental collection on US persons is unconstitutional.” The document, known inContinue Reading

New Statistics on the Activities of U.S. Multinational Enterprises Now Available

“The Bureau of Economic Analysis has released preliminary 2012 statistics on the outward activities of multinational enterprises (AMNEs). Outward AMNE statistics cover the worldwide activities of U.S. multinational enterprises (MNEs). These statistics provide information on the finance and operations of U.S. MNEs, including balance sheet and income statement details, employment and employee compensation, sales, value added, capitalContinue Reading