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Friday Roundup: Furloughs, cyberthreats, open data in action

Map from saveourbridges.comLawmaker warns of "mass furloughs." Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Wash., is warning that mandatory budget cuts that sequestration would trigger on Jan. 2 -- "9.4 percent out of defense accounts and 8.2 percent from domestic discretionary spending" -- will affect thousands of federal jobs. "Within the Department of Homeland Security alone, more than 24,500 jobs could be slashed," the Federal Times reports, though the cuts will not affect military personnel or most of the Veteran Affairs Department.

Mobile data traffic doubled in the past year. Mobile data traffic has doubled in the past year, The Hill reports. A CTIA study, released Thursday, found that mobile networks handled 1.16 trillion megabytes of data between July 2011 and June 2012. CTIA president and former congressman Steve Largent said, "With the persistent increase in usage, this survey is another proof point for why our members need more spectrum to meet consumer demands."

Panetta unveils steps to fight cyberthreats. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced this week that the United States is in acute danger of a large-scale cyberattack, comparing the threat to Pearl Harbor. The New York Times reports that Panetta's warning is in reaction to "increasing aggressiveness and technological advances by the nation's adversaries, which officials identified as China, Russia, Iran and militant groups."

Energy data website fails a fact check. AOL Gov reports that EnergyData.gov fails to live up to claims that it provides "rapid access to raw and frequently updated data," at times failing to provide ease of access and relevant data in their "Energy Datapalooza" fact sheet.

Cybersecurity efforts drive improvements across agencies. The White House has issued 14 cross-agency cybersecurity priorities, Federal News Radio reports, "ranging from job-training to energy efficiency to data center consolidation." Senior director in the White House's Cybersecurity Coordinator Office Andy Ozment said, "We are using the cross-agency cybersecurity priority to drive improvements" across three priorities: strong authentication, the Trusted Internet Connections initiative and the implementation of continuous monitoring.

Open data in action. In an article on the role open data can play in public policy, TechAmerica showcases saveourbridges.com -- "a simple but wonderful example of data journalism that shows both the effectiveness and the limits of opening up data." The website displays a map of over 72,000 bridges in America that are structurally deficient, giving Americans an alarming dose of transparency when it comes to their safety.

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