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FCW Insider: July 1

Governments, private companies and financial institutions are all using AI to automate simple and complex processes. But what happens when an algorithm breaks the law and humans can't explain why? Derek B. Johnson takes a look at the problem and how some in Congress are aiming to solve it.

The Department of Justice took the plunge with a long-term telecommunications deal under the General Service Administration's $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions contract. DOJ's contract with AT&T has a $527 million ceiling value over 13 years. Mark Rockwell has more.

An ongoing lawsuit from Oracle protesting the terms of the Pentagon's $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract is headed to court on July 10. An award is expected in procurement in late August, and the DOD CIO is already teeing up applications to migrate to the JEDI cloud.

At a testy House Oversight hearing June 27, lawmakers from both parties heaped criticism on the Office of Personnel Management for what they're describing as a lack of responsiveness to their requests for documents in support of a plan to merge OPM into GSA. Adam Mazmanian reports that OPM so far has failed to disclose any legal analysis justifying the merger, and Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) believes it is "likely illegal."

Quick Hits

*** The White House alerted agencies to the next steps in an ongoing effort to go paperless and modernize federal records. Federal agencies have been working toward a deadline at the end of this calendar year to have electronic records managed in electronic format. Now according to a memo from Russell Vought, acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, and David Ferriero, head of the National Archives and Records Administration, agencies must plan to close their own individual physical records centers by the end of 2022 and prepare to transfer any paper records to commercial storage facilities. By the end of 2022, the National Archives and Records Administration will no longer accept transfers of analog records from agencies -- only electronic records with the appropriate metadata.

*** A new bipartisan bill would put the Secretary of Homeland Security in charge of developing annual unclassified government reports on deepfake audio and visual manipulation. The Deepfake Report Act, sponsored by Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and Mike Rounds (S.D.), would look into the underlying technologies that are used to create digital forgeries, possible countermeasures to detect them and how domestic and foreign groups might use them to harm American interests.

"Deepfakes have the potential to undermine our trust in what we see and hear by creating deceptive content that poses a threat to everything from public safety to our democracy," said Peters in a statement. "This bill will task our top intelligence and defense experts with shining a light on these rapidly developing threats and the implications forged content can have on our society."

Posted on Jul 01, 2019 at 2:18 AM


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