News in Brief

Mobile app criteria, new Snowden revelations and more

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CIO Council unveils mobile app criteria

The CIO Council has unveiled new criteria for vetting mobile applications. The criteria, which the council said were a year and a half in the making, offer technical guidance for designing, developing and deploying mobile apps.

The departments of Defense and Homeland Security have agreed to implement the criteria, the council said.

"The ultimate goal is to make it easier and safer for agencies to develop and use mission-critical applications on smartphones or tablets," said Rob Palmer, a DHS official who co-chairs the council's Mobile Technology Tiger Team, in a statement.

New Snowden docs show DOJ sanctioned Web surveillance

The Obama administration expanded surveillance of Americans' international Internet activity to search for foreign hackers, according to a report from the New York Times and ProPublica that cites documents leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

Justice Department lawyers wrote two memos in 2012 that allowed NSA to conduct warrantless searches of Internet cables within the United States "for data linked to computer intrusions originating abroad," the report states.

Although the targets of the searches were addresses and cyber signatures associated with foreign governments, the documents show that "NSA sought to target hackers even when it could not establish any links to foreign powers," according to the report.

ISIS fallout: Satellite intel contract hits its ceiling 3 years early

Ongoing military activity in Iraq and Afghanistan has prompted the Defense Information Systems Agency to raise the ceiling on a contract for commercial fixed satellite services to keep those services from running out three years early, Defense Systems reports.

DISA's Defense IT Contracting Organization has filed a justification and approval notice to raise the contract ceiling for communications services for the Army Intelligence and Security Command while it makes arrangements to re-compete the contract.

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