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GCN : June and July 2016
GCN JUNE/JULY 2016 • GCN.COM 11 Government doesn’t get enough credit for its IT innovation. With the 2016 dig IT Awards, GCN is trying to change that — and we need your help. Yes, there are still eight-inch floppy disks and Fortran code in use at some agencies. But when it comes to cybersecurity, big data, robotics and a host of other areas, agencies and government-funded research are often lead- ing the charge. For 28 years, the GCN Awards have showcased general excellence in government IT. But the renamed dig IT Awards sharpen that focus to showcase what matters most: transformative tech that is truly reinventing government. (The “dig IT” stands for Discovery and Innovation in Government IT.) Nominations for this year are due by July 15. Great government IT projects can be submitted in one or more of the following categories: • Big Data, Analytics and Visualization • Cybersecurity • Cloud and Infrastructure • Mobile • Robotics and Unmanned Systems The innovation can rest in a new technology or in the ways established technology is being used to make gov- ernment function better. Nominations can be submitted in multiple categories, as appropri- ate, because conver- gence is often critical to the mission. There will be a sixth award — a wild card of sorts — for the disruptive tech- nologies that are emerging so quickly they don’t fit into any of the categories above. Go to surveymonkey.com/ r/2016DIGIT to submit your nomina- tion. To learn more about the 2016 GCN dig IT Awards, go to GCN.com/ digIT. • What: “ The Federal Big Data Research and Development Strategic Plan” from the White House’s National Science and Technology Council. Why: The plan was created to guide federal agencies through their big- data programs and investments. It offers seven strategies for helping agencies support R&D in data sciences, data-intensive applications and large-scale data management and analysis: 1. Create next-generation capabilities by capitalizing on emerging big- data foundations, techniques and technologies. 2. Support R&D to understand the trustworthiness of data, make better decisions, enable breakthrough discoveries and take confident action. 3. Build and enhance a research cyber infrastructure that enables big- data innovation in support of agency missions. 4. Increase the value of data through policies that promote the sharing and management of data. 5. Understand big-data collection, sharing and use with regard to privacy, security and ethics. 6. Improve the national landscape for big-data education and training to fulfill the demand for deep analytical talent and capacity for the broader workforce. 7. Create and enhance connections in the national big-data innovation ecosystem. The full plan is available at is.gd/ GCN_bigdata. In response to a number Freedom of Information Act requests, the Federal Aviation Administration has released information detailing the cities, states and ZIP codes of small drone owners who have registered their unmanned aerial vehicles. The FAA has been collecting the data through the registration system it launched last December for small hobbyist and recreational drones that weigh a half-pound to 55 pounds. The registration effort seeks to curb mount- ing incidents of drones interfering with civilian aviation by operating near air- ports, at high altitudes or in the vicinity of emergency response aircraft. In a May 18 statement, the agency said it would not release owners’ names and street addresses, however, because privacy protections exempt that data from release under FOIA. That informa- tion is only available if someone search- es by a specific registration number. Only people with a valid email address and password can access the system, which uses digital certificates and encrypts all information. FAA of- ficials said law enforcement agencies will have access to information to help identify aircraft that are involved in incidents. • Read Me Make your nominations for the 2016 GCN dig IT Awards BY TROY K. SCHNEIDER BY MARK ROCKWELL FAA opens up drone registration data [BrieFing] 0716gcn_010-011.indd 11 6/2/16 10:25 AM
August and September 2016