Government

Do you have a cloud exit strategy? Here’s one clear path.

cloud in open government

The federal government’s march to the cloud has, at times, seemed more like a cautious ballet than anything else. While cloud-based projects are slowly rolling out, much of the agency emphasis is on private or community clouds as opposed to public providers. Security and data handling concerns play a role in this "tiptoeing," but another reason is far more insidious: the fear of lock-in.

The Federal Shared Services Implementation Guide, the agency blueprint to the cloud, makes it very clear that government entities engaging in cloud computing need a clear “exit strategy” for anything as a service. It might seem ridiculous to consider how one should migrate from a technology before it is even implemented, but when it comes to the cloud, being able to get your data out is just as important as getting it in. It's about choice and control.

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What’s ahead for open source in government

open government two way

It’s a relatively quiet time for most governments around the world right now. Typically, during this time there are few new initiatives, policies, or announcements related to open source.

So, it’s a good time to consider the trends of the first half of the year and ponder what the remainder of this calendar year holds. 

Here are a few that come to mind.

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What open data policies can and should do

Open Data Policy

Authored by Laurenellen McCann, national policy manager for the Sunlight Foundation.


As more communities recognize the power and possibilities of sharing public data online, there is an increasing need to articulate what it means to open data—and how to create policies that can not only support these efforts, but do so in a sustainable and ambitious way.

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The promise of the Commons: an interview with David Bollier

the commons governance

Originally posted on Shareable. Reposted under Creative Commons. Written by Cat Johnson, a freelance writer focused on community, the sharing economy, the commons, and music. She's also a music lover and player. Follow her at Twitter.


David Bollier is no stranger to politics. The author, activist and independent commons scholar worked for Ralph Nader in the late-’70s and early-’80s, he’s a policy strategist and he has participated in or founded numerous public interest projects. But, over the years, he found himself increasingly disillusioned with political activism.

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Open civic dialogue with text messaging

change by citizens

This is the second post in a short series in effort to recognize and celebrate the close of the 2013 Code for America Incubator. This new program was created to support Code for America Fellows as they work towards building startup companies to scale and sustain their Fellowship projects.

The Code for America Incubator is powered by Google for Entrepreneurs.



Last year, our team of Code for America Fellows received a call to action. Our partners at the City of Philadelphia needed a way to reach out to citizens left out of traditional public engagement. So we built a tool that used the simple power of text messaging to help government and citizens connect. We called it Textizen.

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The rise of the citizen CIO

What is a citizen CIO?

Are citizen CIOs a threat to local governments or a blessing in disguise? With government IT departments producing more open data and participation from community interest groups and citizens on the rise, we’re beginning to see the start of a new movement within open government: telling our government which technologies to deploy. Citizens are identifying—and some are creating themselves—the next wave of applications and resources for their municipalities, such as a crowdsourced answering platform for city services, an open data catalog, and a civic infrastructure adoption website for fire hydrants and storm drains. With this, the role of the citizen CIO is beginning to emerge. » Read more

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Open source is the dominant warfighting doctrine of the 21st century

open source in the military

Open source software offers the promise of a revolutionary transformation in defense, intelligence, law enforcement, and government technology at a cost and pace that satisfies the competing requirements of shrinking resources and constantly accelerating global operations. While this technological transformation is emphasized by engineers and developers within industry and the acquisition community, it is often perceived as tangential to those with an operational focus.

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Hackers wanted: Code for America deadline for 2014 Fellowship nears

Quit complaining and start innovating

There are only a few days left to apply. Code for America is looking for developers, designers, researchers, data scientists, and product managers for their 2014 Fellowship. It's a chance to make a difference with code, design, data, and much more. » Read more

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US homeland security investing in OSS cybersecurity projects

open economics

Working on cybersecurity and looking for support for your project?

The Homeland Open Security Technology (HOST) project has begun a seven-week open call for investment applications that support open source software to improve cybersecurity. Applications will be accepted from July 2 to August 14, 2013. Award notifications will be sent out October 1.

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Open Data Charter released at the G8 Summit

sustainable open data

The release of the Open Data Charter by the G8 is testimony to the growing importance of open data worldwide. The Charter recognizes the central role open data can play in improving government and governance and in stimulating growth through innovation in data-driven products and services. It endorses the principle of open by default— also supported in President Obama’s recent Executive Order on open data—and makes clear that open data must be open to all and usable by both machines and humans (as per the Open Definition).

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