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Burn that churn

A new guide from Georgetown University's Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation and the nonprofit Benefits Data Trust shows government agencies how they can use text-based messaging in conjunction with nutritional assistance programs to overcome a complicated hurdle for those who need assistance. Many families that ordinarily qualify for programs like SNAP struggle to recertify their eligibility — an effect known as "churn." “SNAP is an incredible lifeline,” said Beeck Center Executive Director Cori Zarek. “It helps millions of Americans put food on the table, but we know that as families have to navigate those complicated renewal processes, they lose benefits and some have to go through that every six months." Colin Wood reports.

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Conspiracy clerk gets the boot

A judge in Colorado on Wednesday stripped Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters of her role overseeing local elections, citing Peters’ embrace of unfounded conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election and allowing an unauthorized person to observe a technical update of the county’s vote-tabulation equipment. The ruling came in response to a lawsuit filed in August by Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, who said at the time that by allowing a “known conspiracy theorist” to observe and record a routine software update to Mesa County’s election technology — footage that was later presented on conspiracy websites and at live events. Benjamin Freed has details.

Talking ransomware

A parade of nations recounted grim experiences with ransomware at the start of a two-day White House-led summit that kicked off yesterday, with the gathered officials will collaborate on how to counter the rise of digital extortion. Representatives from more than 30 countries (not Russia) are participating in discussions on the cybercriminal scourge, which has tormented local governments, big corporations and small businesses, education and health institutions and critical infrastructure facilities. "No one country, no one group can solve this problem,” said Jake Sullivan, President Biden's national security adviser. Tim Starks has more on CyberScoop.

'Get back to transformational stuff'

After more than a year-and-a-half of the pandemic, Rhode Island Chief Information Officer Bijay Kumar said it’s time for his state to get back to its longer-term technology modernization projects. “What the pandemic has taught us is that it doesn’t have to be the old ways of how we did things,” Kumar told StateScoop during the NASCIO conference in Seattle this week. “We can do this in much more nimble, agile, faster way and that’s something the team has really embraced.”   Watch the video.


Modernizing endpoint management to gain greater visibility into network activity

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s CISO, Ken Kojima, and Tanium executive Chris Cruz discuss how the nation’s third-largest law enforcement agency is leveraging high-fidelity endpoint data to inform critical IT networking decisions. Watch the full discussion.

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