Dan Verton is FedScoop's Editorial Director. A veteran technology journalist with 20 years of experience covering the federal government, Dan is a former intelligence officer in the U.S. Marine Corps and is the first place winner of the 2003 Jesse H. Neal National Business Journalism Award for News Reporting - the highest award in the nation for technology trade journalism. Dan is also the author of several books on cybersecurity. He has a Master of Arts in Journalism from American University in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter @DanielVerton

Stressed: Air Force moves to retain drone pilots

Air Force drone pilots have taken a leading role in the global fight against al-Qaida and the Islamic State. But while they might be sitting behind a computer screen in relative safety, the pace of operations has stressed the force to its limits. So, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James unveiled a new plan Thursday designed to lighten the load and keep pilots in the military.

Video: NSA’s civil liberties and privacy office nears 1 year anniversary

FedScoop TV talked to Becky Richards, the National Security Agency’s director of civil liberties and privacy, about what she’s learned during the past year at the agency and what privacy initiatives and research she has planned for 2015.

EXCLUSIVE: NSA creating privacy internship program

The NSA has spent the last nine months beta testing a civil liberties and privacy assessment process that includes detailing agency technologists to the newly established privacy office. And this fall, the agency will begin accepting applications for a new college-level civil liberties and privacy internship, FedScoop has learned.

Obama’s cyber bill faces tough questions from experts

The White House unveiled a detailed legislative plan Tuesday that would give private sector companies liability protection in return for sharing technical cyber threat data with the federal government in an effort to prevent future cyberattacks like the one that crippled Sony Pictures Entertainment. But cybersecurity practitioners are warning that the strategy may lack the detailed planning necessary to make it work.

CENTCOM Twitter, YouTube accounts hacked by group claiming to be ISIS

Hackers claiming to be affiliated with the Islamic State hacked the official Twitter and YouTube accounts of the U.S. Central Command Monday, posting official personnel roster information, pro-ISIS videos and even presentation slides that appear to be related to military contingency plans for China and North Korea.

Pentagon updates acquisition policy guidance

The Defense Department’s chief weapons buyer released an update Wednesday to the overarching policy document governing military acquisition that emphasizes custom acquisition strategies that are tailored to the product or service being purchased.

Defeat of job bill in House reveals open data failures at SEC

House Democrats rallied Wednesday to block legislation that would have dealt a substantial blow to open data efforts. But the bill’s provisions are far from dead and highlighted some glaring IT challenges at the Securities and Exchange Commission.

GSA adds federal vehicle data to nationwide database

The General Services Administration has added registration data on the entire fleet vehicles owned or leased by the federal government to the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System. Police at the federal, state and local levels can now run routine checks on government license plates and drivers from the field.

Response to Sony hack reveals limits of U.S. cyber doctrine

While cybersecurity analysts continue to argue about whether North Korea was behind the attack and what it might mean for the prospects of cybersecurity legislation in the new Congress, some national security analysts see the real lesson in the time it took the U.S. to respond to what it has said was a state-sponsored cyber attack that undermined free expression and caused significant financial harm to a major corporation.

The Sony hack and its larger implications for cybersecurity

The FBI Friday officially linked the cyber attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment to the government of North Korea. Does this incident hold any meaning for the future of critical infrastructure protection?

2014 Year-in-Review: Big names and big stories

SPECIAL REPORT: Fedscoop’s 2014 Year-in-Review. We take a look back at this year’s biggest newsmakers in federal IT and the challenges that government technology professionals faced as they tried to keep pace with the fast-moving world of tech.

We have you covered through the 12 days of federal IT, from acquisition to cloud computing, Congress, cybersecurity, Defense, FAA, FCC, health IT, patent and trademark, Veterans Affairs, the White House and workforce issues.

Defense 2014: Year of strategies and women

From the January release of the Electromagnetic Spectrum Strategy to it’s strategies for mobility devices, cloud computing, cyber workforce, the post-Afghanistan offset and Asia-Pacific pivot, as well as a new strategic plan for the Defense Information Systems Agency and the recent innovation strategy, the Pentagon spent much of 2014 strategizing about the future.

Veterans Affairs 2014: The year of being held accountable

There’s little question that the Department of Veterans Affairs had a bad year in 2014. Systemic leadership failures rippled through the entire enterprise, from administration of patient care to management and oversight of major technology programs. Those failures resulted in a campaign led by the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs to force a much-needed agencywide reorganization — the largest in VA’s 84-year history.

Cybersecurity 2014: The battle for mindshare

To be a cybersecurity reporter in 2014 was a lot like playing Bill Murray’s character in the movie Groundhog Day — trapped in time, covering the same, predictable news over and over again.

Former VA contracting official under investigation

The Treasury Department’s inspector general has launched an investigation into a senior procurement official who was found to have steered multimillion dollar contracts to a friend’s company when she served as the executive director of the Office of Acquisition Operations at the Veterans Affairs Department, FedScoop has learned.

Infighting, ‘personal attacks’ rattle NIST-funded identity group

The Identity Ecosystem Steering Group, a public-private partnership funded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology to help develop policies and standards for trusted online identities, put a new code of conduct into effect this week after more than a year of unprofessional behavior among a small group of volunteers began to drive dozens of members away from the effort.

Are social media companies doing enough to stop terrorist recruitment?

The world’s most popular social media sites and an increasing number of new, emerging social platforms have replaced members-only chatrooms and message boards as the preferred method of terrorist organizations to radicalize and recruit new members.

Ash Carter returns to a Pentagon in transition

President Barack Obama officially nominated Ashton Carter Friday as his fourth secretary of Defense in six years, calling him one of the nation’s “foremost national security leaders” with “a unique blend of strategic perspective and technical know-how.”

Exclusive: Carter to get Defense secretary, but Work will lead the post-war transformation

The pending nomination of Ashton Carter to be the next Defense secretary is unlikely to have an impact on the Defense Innovation Initiative or the third offset strategy — both of which are being led by Robert Work, the No. 2 official at the Pentagon and an enterprise visionary who’s played a key role in the military’s postwar transition strategies.

Glitch takes down DOD’s open source IT collaboration environment

Forge.mil is a family of enterprise services, including SoftwareForge, ProjectForge and community collaboration pages that support the Defense Department’s technology community.

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