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Meet U.S. Digital Response's new boss

The U.S. Digital Response, the group of technologists that formed in March 2020 to help governments respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, has named Jessica Cole, its chief operating officer and one of its co-founders, as its interim chief executive. Cole’s appointment, announced Monday, followed the departure of founding CEO Raylene Yung, who's joining the Biden administration. In an interview, Cole said her priority is to stay engaged with the national community of nearly 7,000 volunteer technologists that make up the organization. Ryan Johnston reports.

A Message From AWS Educate

With over 1,500 institutions and hundreds of thousands of students who use AWS Educate, we wanted to take you on a trip around the world and highlight how students are learning and innovating with the cloud. Learn more.

Another mainframe gone

The technology firm Conduent this week announced that it's been selected by the Kansas Department of Children and Families to help the agency abandon its decades-old mainframe system for Microsoft’s cloud platform. The $6.9 million project will shift the agency’s COBOL-based software onto Microsoft’s .NET framework, a technology with no shortage of qualified developers. About half of child support agencies nationwide still rely on a legacy mainframes. Colin Wood has details.

Check those defaults

Research published earlier this week by cybersecurity firm UpGuard found that a default setting in a Microsoft app-development tool led to dozens of large organizations — including the states of Indiana and Maryland — leaking 38 million sensitive files. The leaks, discovered in late May, were examples of how increasingly complex software environments can lead to organizations exposing sensitive data when it’s not entirely clear how new tools are designed, or not taking enough care to ensure that every potential hole is buttoned up. Read more from Benjamin Freed.

Big fine for big clowns

The FCC yesterday proposed a $5.1 million fine against right-wing operatives John Burkman and Jacob Wohl, as well as Burkman’s lobbying firm, for hundreds of robocalls ahead of the 2020 election in which they allegedly used false claims to discourage Americans from voting by mail. The pair, infamous for their outlandish — albeit self-defeating — political stunts, allegedly violated federal law that prohibits making pre-recorded calls to a wireless phone without user consent. Burkman and Wohl have also been charged criminally in Michigan and Ohio, and also face a stiff fine in New York. CyberScoop's Tonya Riley reports.


Enabling an anywhere workforce in government 

Technology leaders at U.S. Census Bureau, the State of Ohio and Dell Technologies describe how public sector agencies shifted cultural as well as IT gears during the pandemic. Read more about the panel.

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