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Category Archives: E-Government

IRS IG – Improvements Are Needed to Ensure the Protection of Data the IRS Transfers to External Partners

“When the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has shared data, including Personally Identifiable Information, taxpayer information, and other sensitive data, with external entities, it has not always adequately protected the data through secure file transfer technology, according to an audit report that the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) released today. The IRS shares data with various outside entities including Federal, State, and local agencies; financial institutions; and contractors for tax administration purposes. IRS and Federal guidelines require that sensitive data is protected during transmission to prevent unauthorized access or disclosure. TIGTA initiated this audit to determine whether the IRS is properly protecting this data and whether it is maintaining encryption controls and other security configurations in accordance with the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The IRS uses three methods to transfer data to external partners: 1) a commercial off-the-shelf product for transfers over the Internet, 2) a commercial off-the-shelf product for direct mainframe-to-mainframe data transfers, and 3) drop boxes to allow the IRS and its external partners to place and retrieve data transfers. In reviewing all three of these external file transfer methods, TIGTA found the IRS did not ensure that encryption requirements are being enforced and ensure that nonsecure protocols are not being used in order to fully protect information during transmission. These protocols include File Transfer Protocol and Telnet, which are known insecure transfer protocols. The IRS also did not remediate high-risk vulnerabilities or install security patches on file transfer servers in a timely manner. For example, TIGTA found 61 servers with high-risk vulnerabilities, 10 servers with outdated versions of Windows and UNIX operating systems still in operation, and 32 servers missing 18 unique security patches, of which four were deemed as critical. Lastly, the IRS did not ensure that corrective action plans for security control weaknesses met IRS standards. This reduced the assurance that the IRS would correct weaknesses timely. Read the report.”

GPO releases digital version of bound Congressional Record 1981-1990

“The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) partners with the Library of Congress (LC) to release the digital version of the bound Congressional Record from 1981-1990 on GPO’s govinfo. This release covers debates and proceedings of the 98th thru the 101st Congresses. This era of Congress covers historical topics such as: Ronald Reagan’s Presidency and the… Continue Reading

DHS Releases Revised FOIA Regulations, Agrees and Disagrees with EPIC’s Suggestions

Via EPIC: “The Department of Homeland Security has released revised Freedom of Information Act regulations. EPIC submitted extensive comments on the proposed changes to the agency’s open government practices. The DHS agreed to make some changes, recommended by EPIC, that should improve the processing of FOIA requests. The agency maintained a broad definition of “educational… Continue Reading

European Commission target of DDoS attack

Via Politico: “This afternoon, the European Commission was subject to a cyberattack (denial of service) which resulted in the saturation of our Internet connection.” Continue Reading

Socrata Announces Free, Open and Public Tool using Valuable Commerce Datasets

“The open data movement has been alive at the Department of Commerce for a very long time. The predecessors to the National Weather Service have been providing open weather reports since the founding of our nation and regular weather reports have been around since the early 1900s. The Census Bureau, one of our nation’s leading… Continue Reading

Audit of OPM Security Systems Shows Continued Material Weakness

OPM IG Federal Information Security Modernization Act Audit – FY 2016: “This audit report again communicates a material weakness related to OPM’s Security Assessment and Authorization (Authorization) program. In April 2015, the then Chief Information Officer issued a memorandum that granted an extension of the previous Authorizations for all systems whose Authorization had already expired,… Continue Reading

Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles

Dept. of Energy guide: “More than a dozen alternative fuels are in production or under development for use in alternative fuel vehicles and advanced technology vehicles. Government and private-sector vehicle fleets are the primary users of these fuels and vehicles, but consumers are increasingly interested in them. Using alternative fuels and advanced vehicles instead of… Continue Reading

Federal Privacy Council Online Law Library

“The Federal Privacy Council is the principal interagency forum to improve the privacy practices of agencies and entities acting on their behalf. The work of the Federal Privacy Council shall strengthen protections of people’s personal information and privacy rights across the Federal Government. To achieve this purpose, the Federal Privacy Council shall: support interagency efforts… Continue Reading

Additional Historical Statutes at Large Added to Law.gov

Library of Congress Blog – in Custodia Legis. November 8, 2016.Jennifer González – “Two years ago we added historical Statutes at Large to our Digitized Material page. Years 1789-1950 have been available there in a large PDF download, but we have been working steadily to add more functionality to the website. We continue to add details… Continue Reading

OMB Issues Policies for Federal Agency Public Websites and Digital Services

November 8, 2016 memorandum – OMB – “Federal Agency public websites and digital services are the primary means by which the public receives information from and interacts with the Federal Government. These websites and services help the public apply for benefits, search for jobs, comply with Federal rules, obtain authoritative information, and much more. Federal websites and digital… Continue Reading

New GAO Transition App Allows Users to See Changes Needed Across Federal Government

“To help make the upcoming presidential and congressional transitions as informed as possible, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has launched a new mobile app that provides users easy access to the watchdog agency’s priority recommendations for improving government operations. “GAO has organized its work to help President-elect Donald Trump and the next Congress tackle critical… Continue Reading

OMB launches Code.gov repository for open source projects

fedscoop: “The Obama administration launched Thursday Code.gov, a new repository for government open source code now featuring nearly 50 open source projects from more than 10 agencies. Coders can expect to see more projects on the site in the coming months as agencies implement the recently released Federal Source Code Policy, U.S. CIO Tony Scott said… Continue Reading