DHS departure raises questions for cloud

Mark Rockwell, Federal Computer Week,  Friday, February 28, 2014

The Department of Homeland Security's cloud computing efforts might have hit a bump in the road as one of the technology's most vocal champions leaves. But DHS watchers are confident that Keith Trippie's departure will turn out to be only a speed bump, not a roadblock.

DHS lays out cyber framework details

Mark Rockwell, Federal Computer Week,  Friday, February 28, 2014

The Department of Homeland Security will make managed cybersecurity services available for all 56 U.S. state and territorial governments this week, said Phyllis Schneck, deputy undersecretary for cybersecurity.

Uncertainty after FedRAMP deadline, but oversight tools already exist

Frank Konkel, Federal Computer Week,  Friday, February 28, 2014

It remains unclear which oversight methods the Office of Management and Budget will use to ensure agencies and their cloud service providers meet the government’s baseline cloud security standards. What is certain, though, is that OMB – and potentially other oversight bodies like inspectors general or the Government Accountability Office – will have plenty of useful oversight data from which to draw.

A checklist for negotiating government cloud service contracts

David Weldon, FierceCIO,  Friday, February 28, 2014

Government agencies at the federal and state level are lured to cloud computing by the promise of cost savings and expanded services. But there are also risks associated with moving operations and applications to the cloud.

Is Ireland the First “Cloud Haven”?

H. Bryan Cunningham by Bryan Cunningham, Cunningham Levy LLP
Thursday, February 27, 2014

If you’re looking to launch a cloud-based venture, Ireland wants you to know it’s open for business. Very open. Not just a tax haven, mind you, Ireland wants to be very clear about that, given allegations to the contrary in the US Congress last year. In late 2013, Ireland’s Industrial Development Agency, chartered to attract foreign business to the island, pushed back hard on allegations that companies establish “headquarters” in Ireland in order to render themselves immune from corporate tax. The IDA stressed, in a Venture Beat Op-Ed, that, while it’s 12.5 percent corporate tax rate is attractive there is far more to recommend Ireland as a “cloud haven.”

FedRAMP gets an OnRAMP

Frank Konkel, Federal Computer Week,  Thursday, February 27, 2014

You can now track cloud services providers' progress toward complying with the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program as easily as you track your online pizza order.

SafeGov Launches edu.SafeGov.org

Jeff Gould by Jeff Gould, SafeCloud.org
Wednesday, February 26, 2014

SafeGov is pleased to announce a new portal to promote safe and secure cloud computing for educational institutions. edu.SafeGov.org is an online education resource focused on providing information and proposing ways in which parents, school officials and policymakers can take advantage of the latest cloud computing advances, while also safeguarding educational data and personal information. In today’s data-driven internet environment, knowing and fully understanding children’s online activities at home is not enough – it is equally important to ensure children’s personal information at school is kept private and used exclusively for academic purposes. We have built this site to ensure that parents, school officials and policymakers have accurate resources at their disposal. With the help of industry and education experts, our site provides guidance and proposes concrete actions that these three audiences can take to help protect student privacy.

U.S. Education Department Issues Guidance on Student Data Privacy

Benjamin Herold, Education Week,  Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Seeking to help schools and districts better protect students' privacy, the U.S. Department of Education released new guidance Tuesday on the proper use, storage, and security of the massive amounts of data being generated by new, online educational resources.The guidelines, produced by the department's privacy technical assistance center, highlight the rapidly evolving, often-murky world of educational technology and student data privacy: "It depends" is the department's short answer to two major questions related to the laws governing the sharing of sensitive student information with third-party vendors.

Net Neutrality and the Cloud

Paul Rosenzweig by Paul Rosenzweig, The Chertoff Group
Tuesday, February 25, 2014

In a sweeping decision, the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington struck down an order from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that the FCC said was intended to foster an open internet network and provide transparency and ease of access for consumers. In doing so, the DC Circuit dramatically affected the prospects for many current and future cloud applications – so dramatically, for example, that the value of Netflix stock initially dropped 5% in the wake of the decision. (Netflix is thought to be disadvantaged by the decision). The stock has rebounded since, but the incident makes it clear that some cloud providers are dependent on a particular pricing framework for internet transmission – a one size fits all model where broadband service providers cannot charge discriminatory prices to different content creators based on the nature and volume of their product. The current pricing framework is now likely to be reexamined. How that reexamination plays out will determine the security and efficacy of cloud services in the next few years.

Feds push student data standards

Kate Tummarello, The Hill,  Monday, February 24, 2014

Federal officials are pushing the education tech industry to heighten privacy and security standards for student data. Speaking at a Common Sense event on Monday, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said that his department would be on Tuesday releasing guidance for companies that contract with schools to handle student data.