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FCW Insider: Oct. 9

In his final week as commissioner of the Federal Acquisition Service, Alan Thomas noted successes in key programs -- including a planned overhaul of the agency's contract writing system and progress by agencies in adopting a major telecom contract vehicle. Mark Rockwell reports.

A U.S. Senate report confirms previous research and investigations on Russian social media activity in 2016, but sees little role for Congress in preventing future deceptions. Derek B. Johnson has the story.

Steve Kelman considers new research on posture and perception -- and argues that Washington should take a lesson from academic debate.

Federal agencies are getting creative as they look to replace retiring employees with new hires. Lia Russell looks at some strategies for finding and keeping new feds.

Quick Hits

*** The Commerce Department has blacklisted 28 Chinese technology and security entities that specialize in facial recognition and surveillance technology, including startups Megvii, SenseTime and Yitu. The Bureau of Industry and Security announced in an Oct. 9 notice that U.S. firms are essentially banned from doing business with the 28 organizations.

"These entities have been implicated in human rights violations and abuses in the implementation of China's campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, and high-technology surveillance against Uighurs, Kazakhs, and other members of Muslim minority groups" in China's Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, the notice states.

Press reports and government estimates have indicated that as many as 1 million Uighurs, a minority group that practices Islam, have been detained in reeducation camps by the Chinese government. Ubiquitous surveillance is part of the system used by the Chinese government to implement its policy of controlling the Uighur population.

*** Customs and Border Protection is starting a pilot program with e-commerce marketplaces, fulfillment centers and shipping companies to collect end-to-end data on shipments of goods and information on individual buyers. The program is designed to help CBP spot anomalies between what's listed on shipment manifests and what's actually in shipping containers, to stem trade in counterfeit goods. According to an agency privacy notice dated Sept. 26, data collected by CBP under this pilot can be used in criminal investigations.

*** It's the last chance to register to attend FCW's Oct. 10 IT Modernization Summit, whose speakers include Department of Veterans Affairs CIO James Gfrerer, Department of Defense Deputy Chief Management Officer Lisa Hershman and Department of Energy Assistant Secretary for Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response Karen Evans.  A full speaker list and agenda are available here, and a live simulcast is available for those outside the DC area. 

Posted by FCW Staff on Oct 09, 2019 at 2:30 AM


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