Author Archive

Mark Rockwell

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.

Public Safety

FBI expands use of FirstNet services

The FBI has signed on for FirstNet mobility services to support its day-to-day and emergency operations.


CBP plans broader use of facial recognition

According to a proposed rule change, Customs and Border Protection will expand the use of facial recognition technology for entry/exit tracking systems.


GSA’s mismanagement of PIV cards puts facility, data security at risk, watchdog says

The General Services Administration’s mismanagement of the personal identity verification cards it issued to contract employees raises significant security concerns, according to a report from agency's inspector general.

Data & Analytics

Can USPS cash in on its geolocation data?

The U.S. Postal Service is looking at creating new address and geospatial services to expand its revenue streams.


US has a ‘China problem,’ cyber commission says

To shore up security of information and communications technology, the nation must reduce its dependency on suppliers from rival powers, especially China, according to the Cyberspace Solarium Commission.


Security gaps could undermine confidence in election results

It only takes one small breach to dent confidence in the nation’s election systems, according to a digital rights and technology expert.


Faster innovation with automated ATOs

Agencies need smarter, faster ways to get authority to operate, according to a top IT advisor at the Department of Health and Human Services.


CISA ‘hypervigilant’ on election cybersecurity

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency is prepping state and local governments for the final rounds in the fight to secure their election critical infrastructure, according to the agency's top risk manager.

Data & Analytics

ATF mines data to support investigations

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives plans to expand the use of data analytics to improve investigations into the increasing number of gun store burglaries.

Cloud & Infrastructure

PPP taps cloud for loan forgiveness

The Small Business Administration is using a commercial cloud service for its Paycheck Protection Program loan-forgiveness processing, but lawmakers are concerned about tech glitches.

Cloud & Infrastructure

NARA expects multicloud strategy to ease records transfer

The National Archives and Records Administration plans to adopt a multicloud strategy to more easily accommodate storing the digital records it receives from other federal agencies.

Cloud & Infrastructure

OPM’s DIY COVID dashboard

Using open source data and a custom-developed Python application, developers built an easy-to-use, automatically-updating dashboard.


Hackers pivot to attack remote workers

In the current work-from-home environment, attackers are trying more interactive techniques to throw users off guard.


Agencies must patch Windows Server by midnight or unplug

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency issued an emergency directive calling on agencies to patch their Windows Server operating systems to prevent attackers from completely compromising all Active Directory identity services.


House lawmakers push digital identity verification

The Improving Digital Identity Act of 2020 provides a first step in developing more secure, interoperable digital credentials.

Emerging Tech

Smithsonian retools for post-COVID visitor tech

To support social distancing, the National Museum of African American History and Culture is developing a strategy to convert elements of its in-person interactive exhibits to mobile apps.

Emerging Tech

Energy Department's AI office looking for partnerships

Two recently announced artificial intelligence collaborations show how the technology can affect real world problems, according to the head of the Energy Department's AI office.

Emerging Tech

State and local governments warned to keep federal drone laws in mind

State, local and private sector could run afoul of federal laws if they deploy drone detection and mitigation systems without careful thought, federal agencies say.

Cloud & Infrastructure

CBP plans cloud management contract

The cloud governance contract will help the agency get a better handle on proliferating bills and hard-to-track costs for cloud services, as well as a more efficient way to use its stable of commercial cloud service providers.

SDN eases pandemic’s telecom burden

Software-defined networking has allowed carriers to quickly redistribute network loads to even out stress on peering points and routing facilities.