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04/16/2020
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IG couldn't find White House interference in JEDI

The Pentagon's inspector general dropped a lengthy and long-anticipated report into its investigation of the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud contract. Among other things, the watchdog concluded, based on the available evidence, that the award of the contract to Microsoft was not influenced by senior Pentagon officials or the White House. "[W]e believe the evidence we received showed that the DoD personnel who evaluated the contract proposals and awarded Microsoft the JEDI Cloud contract were not pressured regarding their decision on the award of the contract by any DoD leaders more senior to them, who may have communicated with the White House," the report says. And there's much, much more on top of that. Billy Mitchell has more from the report.


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CIOs helping tag webpages for coronavirus information

The White House on Wednesday directed federal CIOs to help prioritize information about the coronavirus in internet search results by incorporating new standard tags into all relevant webpages. Schema.org — a community founded by tech companies like Google, Microsoft and Yahoo — created the tags to be added to the code of any website containing information on COVID-19 prevention, disease spread, quarantine rules, travel guidance and testing. With agencies using the tags, search engine queries will be more likely to yield the latest official public health announcements and information. Dave Nyczepir has the story.


The JAIC lends a hand to fight COVID

The Pentagon's Joint Artificial Intelligence Center is lending a hand in the fight against the coronavirus. An initiative called Project Salus aims to turn data from retailers and government data sets into operational information that military personnel responding to the crisis can use to have a better picture of the supply chain. The effort is intended to help the National Guard and Northern Command understand where critical supplies are in short supply by layering the information into a dashboard. Jackson Barnett has the scoop.


VA inks deal with Facebook for conferencing devices

The Department of Veterans Affairs entered into a new deal with Facebook on Wednesday to provide 7,400 Portal video devices to qualifying veterans and caregivers. The effort comes as the department looks to scale telehealth and video conferencing offering as in-person care is reduced to blunt the spread of the coronavirus. The VA held more than 2,700 telehealth group therapy sessions in March, up more than 200 percent from February. Similarly, mental health care consultations done over the phone increased by 280 percent to 154,000 appointments in March, according to the VA. More on VA's expanded telehealth.


DHS ups mobile security

The Department of Homeland Security is looking to add cloud-based, root-of-trust (CRoT) technology to improve the cybersecurity of mobile devices that staffers use to access both business and personal email. Cybersecurity company BlueRISC is working on the software with support from the DHS Science and Technology Directorate. The goal is to allow government employees to use personal email on agency-issued devices while avoiding common security pitfalls like choosing convenience over strong security controls or accidentally sharing sensitive information. Dave has more.


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Dialing up security as a nation dials in from home

As agencies scramble for a solution to keep serving constituents and delivering on their mission, IT leaders must address several key challenges at once — including endpoint security, encrypted data transmission and bandwidth capacity, says Jim Richberg, former federal cybersecurity official and now field CISO at Fortinet. What’s helping them keep up with an expanding set of cloud and other remote connectivity capabilities help address expanded security risks inherent in the telework surge? Listen to the conversation.


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