Democratic Lawmakers Limit Federal Use of Facial Recognition Technology

Nextgov | June 29, 2020

A bicameral group of Democratic lawmakers introduced legislation to ban the use of facial recognition technologies by all federal agencies without explicit authorization from Congress. On Thursday, Sens. Edward Markey, D-Mass., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and Reps. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., and Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., introduced the Facial Recognition and Biometric Technology Moratorium Act of 2020. The bill’s long title offers a fuller picture of the lawmakers’ intent: To prohibit biometric surveillance by the federal government without explicit statutory authorization and to withhold certain federal public safety grants from state and local governments that engage in biometric surveillance. For federal agencies, that would mean a blanket ban on the use of “any biometric surveillance system” that uses facial recognition technology or “information derived from a biometric surveillance system operated by another entity,” including another authorized federal agency or through a contracted vendor.

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There are significant questions as to whether President Trump obstructed justice. We do not yet know all the relevant facts, and any final determination must await further investigation, including by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. But the public record contains substantial evidence that President Trump attempted to impede the investigations of Michael Flynn and Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, including by firing FBI Director James Comey. There is also a question as to whether President Trump conspired to obstruct justice with senior members of his administration although the public facts regarding conspiracy are less well-developed.

Spotlight

There are significant questions as to whether President Trump obstructed justice. We do not yet know all the relevant facts, and any final determination must await further investigation, including by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. But the public record contains substantial evidence that President Trump attempted to impede the investigations of Michael Flynn and Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, including by firing FBI Director James Comey. There is also a question as to whether President Trump conspired to obstruct justice with senior members of his administration although the public facts regarding conspiracy are less well-developed.

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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

SemanticBits Will Be Acquired by ICF

ICF | June 10, 2022

ICF, a worldwide consulting and digital services firm, said today that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire SemanticBits, a leading provider of mission-critical digital modernization solutions to US government health agencies. In 2022, SemanticBits is predicted to produce $135 million in yearly revenue. In 2023, almost $115 million of that will be recurring, owing to the conclusion of many small company contracts. As part of ICF, SemanticBits is expected to produce EBITDA margins in the high teens, based on its track record of double-digit sales growth. ICF will use its existing credit facility to cover the $220 million deal. Upon completion, the deal is expected to be accretive to ICF's EPS. SemanticBits offers a comprehensive set of open-source digital modernization services, including end-to-end agile at scale development, cloud-native solutions, data analytics, and human-centered design. SemanticBits, which was founded in 2005, has a team of 450 technologists and practitioners with experience working on large federal health IT projects and expertise across 30 technology platforms. They use a fully agile approach that complements ICF's deep federal health domain expertise and digital modernization capabilities. SemanticBits provides help to federal health authorities in the United States, primarily the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). This latest acquisition is in keeping with our strategy to complement organic growth with acquisitions that strengthen ICF's position in key growth markets and provide meaningful revenue synergies over time." John Wasson, ICF chair and chief executive officer John further added, "SemanticBits' advanced health IT and data science solutions accelerate and improve mission impact and health outcomes. As one of the industry's leading digital service and platform providers using open-source, SemanticBits scales our rapidly growing set of digital modernization capabilities and, together with our deep federal health expertise, will enable ICF to support larger, more complex projects across federal civilian agencies." The acquisition is scheduled to close in mid-July, subject to regulatory and customary conditions. When ICF reports its second quarter results in early August, it aims to publish updated financial forecast for the full year 2022, which will include the projected contribution from the SemanticBits purchase.

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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Four Inc. Collaborates with Synopsys as Federal Aggregator

Four Inc. | June 01, 2022

Synopsys, Inc. has named Four Inc. as a federal aggregator. As part of Four Inc.'s boutique aggregation program, Four Inc. will deliver Synopsys Software Integrity Group application security solutions to the federal government through its government contract vehicles and network of channel partners. The program includes multi-year financial solutions and as-a-service products to support and develop Synopsys' government business. Our agreement with Four Inc. is a milestone that will help expand the Synopsys portfolio's reach within the Federal IT ecosystem via a trusted federal aggregator. Broadening our business through the channel is one of our top strategic priorities. This agreement signals the continued momentum and growth we expect by further extending our world-class application security solutions through the channel in the Federal space moving forward." Tom Herrmann, vice president of global channels and alliances within the Synopsys Software Integrity Group Synopsys has been named a six-time Gartner® Magic QuadrantTM Leader for Application Security Testing, a three-time Forrester WaveTM Leader for Software Composition Analysis, and a two-time Forrester WaveTM Leader for Static Application Security Testing. The Synopsys Software Integrity Group assists development teams in producing safe, high-quality software while minimizing risks and increasing productivity. Synopsys is a well-known leader in application security. Its static analysis, software composition analysis, and dynamic analysis tools help teams quickly find and fix vulnerabilities and problems in proprietary code, open source components, and application behavior. Jeff Nolan, Four Inc.’s COO, avers that their government customers are more vulnerable to sophisticated cyber assaults that target vulnerabilities in source code development and network-based applications. They say Synopsys is a great fit for their boutique aggregation platform of services, and they are delighted to work with them. They are also happy to be able to offer their channel partners and government clients Synopsys application security testing solutions that are made to stop these threats.

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CYBERSECURITY

QuSecure’s QuProtect Receives Top Govies Government Security Award for Cyber Defense

QuSecure | May 26, 2022

QuSecure, Inc., an innovator in post-quantum cybersecurity, (PQC) announced that its quantum orchestration platform, QuProtect, the industry’s first end-to-end post-quantum cybersecurity software-based solution uniquely designed to protect encrypted communications and data with quantum-resilience using quantum secure channels, has been honored in The Govies Government Security Awards competition by Security Today magazine. QuSecure won the highest honor, the Platinum Award, in the Cyber Defense Solutions awards category. 1105 Media launched its government security awards program in 2009 to honor outstanding government security products in a variety of categories. An independent panel of judges from the security industry selected the top 2022 entries and named winners using criteria including Features, Innovation, User Friendliness, Interoperability, Quality, Design, Market Opportunity, Impact in the Security Industry, Technical Advances, and Scalability. Participation in the program was greater than ever this year as government security continues to be an ongoing and growing concern. At QuSecure we are very concerned with National Security and therefore Government is a significant sector for us. It is rewarding for QuProtect to be recognized with this award, particularly from an independent panel of security industry experts. Our QuProtect solution will enable government organizations to remain in compliance with the major government security initiatives we have seen coming, as the industry accelerates toward a quantum future. QuProtect uniquely combines QuSecure’s broad-based quantum and post-quantum technologies providing secure, interoperable cybersecurity to protect government organizations’ networks from quantum threats today and into the future.” Skip Sanzeri, QuSecure Founder and COO QuProtect provides quantum-resilient cryptography, anytime, anywhere and on any device. QuProtect uses an end-to-end quantum security as a service (QSaaS) architecture that addresses the digital ecosystem’s most vulnerable aspects, uniquely combining zero-trust, next-generation post-quantum cryptography, quantum-strength keys, high availability, easy deployment, and active defense into a comprehensive and interoperable cybersecurity suite. The end-to-end approach is designed around the entire data lifecycle as data is stored, communicated, and used. QuProtect is the industry’s most advanced PQC solution providing quantum-resilience for many of today’s critical use cases, including satellite, network, and IoT communications. QuProtect can be hosted on-premise or via the cloud delivering the most compatible solution to the post-quantum problem, solving today’s most complex compliance challenges, such as bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and work-from-home policies. An organization can implement PQC across all devices on the network with minimal disruption to existing systems, protecting against current classical and future quantum attacks which could irreparably disrupt industries and infrastructures across government and commercial sectors. “The pandemic has wreaked havoc worldwide, but security manufacturers continued to work hard designing new security solutions for the government sector,” said Ralph C. Jensen, editor in chief, Security Today magazine and securitytoday.com. “This is truly a testament of dedication and vision to ensure the best products are available for government use. Manufacturers should be proud of their employees for providing the best solutions in these challenging times. We appreciate the opportunity to enhance the marketplace by honoring these award winners.” About 1105 Media’s Infrastructure Solutions Group 1105 Media’s Infrastructure Solutions Group includes several leading industry media brands that provide new product and technology solutions for security professionals: The brands’ print, digital, custom media and research products integrate physical and IT security coverage and provide the smartest, most cost-effective solutions for reaching security decision makers. About QuSecure QuSecure is an innovator in post-quantum cybersecurity with a mission to protect enterprise and government data from quantum and classical cybersecurity threats. Its quantum-safe solutions provide an easy transition path to quantum resiliency across any organization. The company’s QuProtect solution is the industry’s first PQC software-based platform uniquely designed to protect encrypted communications and data with quantum-resilience using a quantum secure channel. QuSecure has current customer deployments in banking/finance, healthcare, space/satellite, IT/data enterprises, datacenters and various Department of Defense agencies. QuSecure is investor backed and has offices in Silicon Valley.

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