Office of Management & Budget

White House adds ‘agile and responsive’ security practices to trusted internet connections updates

The White House
(Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour)

The White House announced updates to the federal government Trusted Internet Connections initiative with the intent to empower agencies with security practices that aim to remove barriers to modern technology adoption.

An Office of Management and Budget memo provides agencies with pilot program guidance and an implementation timeline.

From OMB:

The purpose of the Trusted Internet Connections (TIC) initiative is to enhance network security across the Federal Government. Initially, this was done through the consolidation of external connections and the deployment of common tools at these access points. While this prior work has been invaluable in securing Federal networks and information, the program must adapt to modem architectures and frameworks for government IT resource utilization. Accordingly, this memorandum provides an enhanced approach for implementing the TIC initiative that provides agencies with increased flexibility to use modern security capabilities. This memorandum also establishes a process for ensuring the TIC initiative is agile and responsive to advancements in technology and rapidly evolving threats.

One component of TIC is Pulse.cio.gov, the U.S. government’s program that monitors HTTPS protocol status of federal (.gov) domains.

From Matt “Mr. FedRAMP” Goodrich:

Memo: Update to the Trusted Internet Connections (TIC) Initiative

U.S. government releases federal open source policy

Photo: U.S. Air Force

Photo: U.S. Air Force

The White House has published a federal source code policy that requires custom code paid for by the U.S. government be made available to all federal agencies, and a portion be released to the public.

“Covered agencies that enter into agreements for the development of software should require unlimited data rights in accordance with this policy,” says the policy.

As part of a pilot program, covered agencies are required to release at minimum 20 percent of custom developed code, and the Office of Management and Budget will release an impact assessment in 120 days.

According to the White House, the policy “does not require that existing custom-developed source code created by third party developers or vendors for the Federal Government be retroactively made available.”

Because the U.S. government spends so much on code development, this is a huge step forward for government-inspired technology innovation, and it will be interesting to see how much federal contractors push back on this policy, as most consider this to be their own intellectual property.

The full innovation and economics benefits of this policy will be realized once all code can be released to the public.

There is a 30-day public comment period (deadline April 11), and feedback can be submitted via the GitHub repo issues, a pull request or emailed to sourcecode@omb.eop.gov.

Cabinet members brief Amercan citizens in Year One videos

President Obama’s Cabinet taped Year One videos to highlight their respective department or agency’s 2009 accomplishments and or goals for the next year.

What do you think? Which are most informative? Authentic? Is this an effective way to familiarize citizens to public servants and put a face on government?

Secretary Robert Gates, Department of Defense:

Secretary Steven Chu, Department of Energy:

Secretary Ray LaHood, Department of Transportation:

Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack, Department of Agriculture:

Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton, Department of State:

Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, Environmental Protection Agency:

Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, Department of Treasury:

Secretary Janet A. Napolitano, Department of Homeland Security:

Secretary Gary F. Locke, Department of Commerce:

Secretary Hilda L. Solis, Department of Labor:

Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Department of Health and Human Services:

Secretary Kenneth L. Salazar, Department of the Interior:

Ambassador Ronald Kirk, United States Trade Representative:

Ambassador Susan Rice, United States Ambassador to the United Nations:

Director Peter R. Orszag, Office of Management & Budget:

Attorney General Eric Holder, Department of Justice:

Secretary Eric K. Shinseki, Department of Veterans Affairs:

Chair Christina Romer, Council of Economic Advisers:

Secretary Arne Duncan, Department of Education: