Circuit

Timing is everything

Information technology research firm Gartner is scoring big time with its Gartner IT Security Summit 2005 in Washington, D.C., this week, thanks to one panel moderator.

A forum on Monday, the CyberCzar Panel, features some IT security luminaries, including Howard Schmidt, a former White House cybersecurity adviser and chief security strategist of the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team, and Amit Yoran, former director of the Homeland Security Department's National Cyber Security Division.

But the real headliner is the panel's moderator: The Washington Post's Pulitzer Prize-winning Bob Woodward. Media outlets saturated the market last week with coverage of the no-longer-elusive identity of Woodward's Watergate insider, Mark Felt.

WhiteHouse.xxx

During the Clinton administration, www.whitehouse.com was not a Web site that you would want to peruse at work. The pornography site is defunct — in fact, it now bills itself as a place to search public records.

A new proposal, however, could lead to the creation of www.whitehouse.xxx if proponents of a porn-specific Internet domain are successful. The Internet's primary oversight body last week approved a plan to create a .xxx Web domain.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers said it would begin negotiations with ICM Registry, run by British businessman Stuart Lawley, to solve technical issues and determine prices for the new Web addresses.

In case you didn't know, porn is a big business online, bringing in about $12 billion annually.

Web sites using .xxx could be running later this year.

Cyber editorial

Cybersecurity experts have been warning about the potential of a cyber-Pearl Harbor for years. The old gray lady added its voice to the warning calls last week.

The lead editorial in the June 2 New York Times called for the need to improve cyberdefenses.

"Protecting the nation from a potentially devastating cyberattack is not easy. The technological challenges are considerable — even major technology companies have trouble defending themselves against hackers," the editorial states. "But overcoming these obstacles should be a high priority."

The government's former cybersecurity czar, Richard Clarke, is now a columnist for the New York Times Magazine, so perhaps he is bending the editor's ear.

A bright star

A stamp of approval from the pages of the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association never hurts.

The Department of Veterans Affairs recently received accolades in an editorial that described the VA's health system as a bright star. The VA trumpeted the description through a press release.

According to the editorial, the VA's health care system "quickly emerged as a bright star in the constellation of safety practice, with systemwide implementation of safe practices, training programs and the establishment of four patient-safety research centers."

That praise mitigates some of the VA's recent bad publicity, such as the agency pulling the plug on the CoreFLS financial management system and questions about how much the agency should spend to modernize HealtheVet, the department's health records system.

Got a tip? Send it to jhasson@fcw.com.

And the winner is ...

What is the best e-government application?

According to attendees at FCW Events' Web-Enabled Government conference last week, it is the Defense Information Systems Agency's Resources Information Technology Program Office's Provider Graphical User Interface.

The other finalists were:

  • Alabama Revenue Department's Alabama Local Government Revenue Reporting Application.
  • Arlington County, Va., Technology Services Department's Pay and Register Portal.
  • Pacific Fleet and Navy Supply Information Systems Activity Customer Support Group's Birdtrack.
  • Defense Manpower Data Center's Defense Cross Credentialing ID System/FIXS Federation for Identity and Cross-Credentialing System.

  • Defense Supply Center's Support Planning Integrated Data Enterprise Readiness System.
  • Defense Department's Online Representations and Certifications Application.
  • Defense Department and Defense Reutilization and Marketing Services' Commercial Venture Program with Government Liquidation for Surplus Disposition.
  • Homeland Security Department's Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology program.
  • Government Accountability Office's Electronic Assistance Guide for Leading Engagements.
  • Hong Kong Immigration Department's Control System at Immigration Check Points.
  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' Prescription Drug and Other Assistance Programs.
  • Ontario Ministry of Transportation's Road User Safety Application Solutions' Access Enforcement Solutions.
  • Army Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems' Logistics Information System's Movement Tracking System.
  • Find a link with more information about those programs on FCW.com Download's Data Call at www.fcw.com/download.

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