Welcome!

Search Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Lori MacVittie, Liz McMillan, Shelly Palmer, Lacey Thoms

Blog Feed Post

New year, new Congress: What’s next for DATA?

By

[This post by Hudson Hollister is cross-posted on the Data Transparency Coalition's blog.]

 

Tomorrow a new U.S. Congress – the 113th, elected last November – will be sworn in.  The 112th Congress finished its run with a divisive confrontation on fiscal priorities.

Advocates of opening up government data are rightfully disappointed at the lack of Congressional action on the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act, or DATA Act. The DATA Act, championed by Reps. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Elijah Cummings (D-MD) in the House of Representatives and by Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Rob Portman (R-OH) in the Senate, would have required the U.S. government to publish all executive-branch spending data on a single Internet portal. Spending data is currently reported to at least seven separate compilations maintained by different agencies, some publicly accessible and others not.

The DATA Act also would have set up consistent data identifiers and markup languages for all spending data, which would have allowed the separate compilations to be searched together, dramatically enhancing government accountability.

The DATA Act would generate new opportunities for the tech industry, as our Coalition demonstrated at its DATA Demo Day last summer. If U.S. federal spending data were consistently published and standardized – Big Data analytics companies could develop new ways to find waste and fraud; financial management vendors could offer new services to their existing federal clients; and infomediaries like Google could republish and repackage the data for the public and profit from advertising revenues.

What happened?

The DATA Act was first introduced in both chambers in June 2011, and shortly thereafter was approved by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and sent to the full House of Representatives. After further revisions the bill passed the full House in April 2012. In September 2012, Sens. Warner and Portman rewrote and reintroduced the bill in the Senate to address objections from grantees and contractors. But the next step – consideration by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) and the committee’s recommendation to the full Senate – never occurred, because the committee did not hold a business meeting between the DATA Act’s reintroduction and the end of the Congress. The HSGAC’s leaders – chairman Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and ranking member Susan Collins (R-ME) – didn’t find the DATA Act important enough to merit the time and effort of a committee meeting, deliberation, and a vote.

With the end of the 112th Congress and the start of the 113th, all pending legislative proposals are wiped out and must be re-introduced.

Is the DATA Act dead? Absolutely not! Chances are good that the bill will be introduced again and passed – by both chambers, this time! – in 2013.

Here’s why.

  • The DATA Act’s champions aren’t going away. Rep. Issa, the DATA Act’s original author, and Sen. Warner, its first Senate sponsor, remain well-placed to champion a new version of the bill, with Issa keeping his position as chairman of the powerful House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Meanwhile, term limits and retirement will bring new leadership to the Senate HSGAC: chairman Tom Carper (D-DE) and ranking member Tom Coburn (R-OK). Carper and Coburn may well prove more enthusiastic about pursuing data transparency in federal spending than Lieberman and Collins were.
  • The Recovery Board’s spending accountability portal IS going away. The original DATA Act was based on lessons learned from the work of the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, the temporary federal agency established by Congress in 2009 to oversee the spending mandated by the economic stimulus law. The Recovery Board used standardized electronic identifiers and markup languages to make its online accountability portal fully accurate, complete, and searchable. According to the Recovery Board’s most recent report, inspectors general using the portal recovered $40 million in stimulus funds from questionable contractors and grantees and prevented $30 million from being paid out in the first place. The Recovery Board’s portal could easily be expanded to cover all spending rather than just stimulus spending. (No reliable government-wide spending accountability portal exists.) But the Recovery Board’s legal mandate only covers overseeing the stimulus. The temporary agency will be eliminated when the stimulus law expires on September 30, 2013. Unless Congress acts, the Recovery Board’s portal will be decommissioned on that date – and replaced with nothing. The Recovery Board’s imminent demise should put pressure on Congress to pass legislation to make sure that the time, money, and effort spent to create the stimulus accountability portal are not wasted. The April 2012 House version of the DATA Act – and amendments our Coalition suggested for the September 2012 Senate version – would do exactly that.
  • The press is taking notice. Last month, Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank asked why the DATA Act – “so uncontroversial that it passed the House on a voice vote” – has yet to achieve full passage. Milbank’s reaction is that of any smart layperson: the need to publish all federal spending data online, and make it fully searchable through electronic standardization, sounds like something the executive branch should be doing already – and if it isn’t, Congress should tell it to.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley, former CTO of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), is Founder and CTO of Crucial Point LLC, a technology research and advisory firm providing fact based technology reviews in support of venture capital, private equity and emerging technology firms. He has extensive industry experience in intelligence and security and was awarded an intelligence community meritorious achievement award by AFCEA in 2008, and has also been recognized as an Infoworld Top 25 CTO and as one of the most fascinating communicators in Government IT by GovFresh.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, will describe how to revoluti...
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, will discuss how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money! Speaker Bio: Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, has spent 16 years as a marketing, product management, and busin...
Samsung VP Jacopo Lenzi, who headed the company's recent SmartThings acquisition under the auspices of Samsung's Open Innovaction Center (OIC), answered a few questions we had about the deal. This interview was in conjunction with our interview with SmartThings CEO Alex Hawkinson. IoT Journal: SmartThings was developed in an open, standards-agnostic platform, and will now be part of Samsung's Open Innovation Center. Can you elaborate on your commitment to keep the platform open? Jacopo Lenzi: Samsung recognizes that true, accelerated innovation cannot be driven from one source, but requires a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Red Hat, the world's leading provider of open source solutions, will exhibit at Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Red Hat is the world's leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage and virtualization technologies. Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services. As the connective hub in a global network of enterprises, partners, a...
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash Inc., will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Matrix.org has been named “Silver Sponsor” of Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Matrix is an ambitious new open standard for open, distributed, real-time communication over IP. It defines a new approach for interoperable Instant Messaging and VoIP based on pragmatic HTTP APIs and WebRTC, and provides open source reference implementations to showcase and bootstrap the new standard. Our focus is on simplicity, security, and supporting the fullest feature set.
BSQUARE is a global leader of embedded software solutions. We enable smart connected systems at the device level and beyond that millions use every day and provide actionable data solutions for the growing Internet of Things (IoT) market. We empower our world-class customers with our products, services and solutions to achieve innovation and success. For more information, visit www.bsquare.com.
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic • Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it’s a mix of architectural style...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SOA Software, an API management leader, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SOA Software is a leading provider of API Management and SOA Governance products that equip business to deliver APIs and SOA together to drive their company to meet its business strategy quickly and effectively. SOA Software’s technology helps businesses to accelerate their digital channels with APIs, drive partner adoption, monetize their assets, and achieve a...
From a software development perspective IoT is about programming "things," about connecting them with each other or integrating them with existing applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Yakov Fain, co-founder of Farata Systems and SuranceBay, will show you how small IoT-enabled devices from multiple manufacturers can be integrated into the workflow of an enterprise application. This is a practical demo of building a framework and components in HTML/Java/Mobile technologies to serve as a platform that can integrate new devices as they become available on the market.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Utimaco will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Utimaco is a leading manufacturer of hardware based security solutions that provide the root of trust to keep cryptographic keys safe, secure critical digital infrastructures and protect high value data assets. Only Utimaco delivers a general-purpose hardware security module (HSM) as a customizable platform to easily integrate into existing software solutions, embed business logic and build s...
Connected devices are changing the way we go about our everyday life, from wearables to driverless cars, to smart grids and entire industries revolutionizing business opportunities through smart objects, capable of two-way communication. But what happens when objects are given an IP-address, and we rely on that connection, sometimes with our lives? How do we secure those vast data infrastructures and safe-keep the privacy of sensitive information? This session will outline how each and every connected device can uphold a core root of trust via a unique cryptographic signature – a “bir...
Internet of @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley announced on Thursday its first 12 all-star speakers and sessions for its upcoming event, which will take place November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in California. @ThingsExpo, the first and largest IoT event in the world, debuted at the Javits Center in New York City in June 10-12, 2014 with over 6,000 delegates attending the conference. Among the first 12 announced world class speakers, IBM will present two highly popular IoT sessions, which will take place November 4-6, 2014 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, Calif...
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, will discuss how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Oct. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Spansion Inc. (NYSE: CODE), a global leader in embedded systems, today added 96 new products to the Spansion® FM4 Family of flexible microcontrollers (MCUs). Based on the ARM® Cortex®-M4F core, the new MCUs boast a 200 MHz operating frequency and support a diverse set of on-chip peripherals for enhanced human machine interfaces (HMIs) and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications. The rich set of periphera...

SYS-CON Events announced today that Aria Systems, the recurring revenue expert, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Aria Systems helps leading businesses connect their customers with the products and services they love. Industry leaders like Pitney Bowes, Experian, AAA NCNU, VMware, HootSuite and many others choose Aria to power their recurring revenue business and deliver exceptional experiences to their customers.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is going to require a new way of thinking and of developing software for speed, security and innovation. This requires IT leaders to balance business as usual while anticipating for the next market and technology trends. Cloud provides the right IT asset portfolio to help today’s IT leaders manage the old and prepare for the new. Today the cloud conversation is evolving from private and public to hybrid. This session will provide use cases and insights to reinforce the value of the network in helping organizations to maximize their company’s cloud experience.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is making everything it touches smarter – smart devices, smart cars and smart cities. And lucky us, we’re just beginning to reap the benefits as we work toward a networked society. However, this technology-driven innovation is impacting more than just individuals. The IoT has an environmental impact as well, which brings us to the theme of this month’s #IoTuesday Twitter chat. The ability to remove inefficiencies through connected objects is driving change throughout every sector, including waste management. BigBelly Solar, located just outside of Boston, is trans...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Matrix.org has been named “Silver Sponsor” of Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Matrix is an ambitious new open standard for open, distributed, real-time communication over IP. It defines a new approach for interoperable Instant Messaging and VoIP based on pragmatic HTTP APIs and WebRTC, and provides open source reference implementations to showcase and bootstrap the new standard. Our focus is on simplicity, security, and supporting the fullest feature set.