Former Trump adviser says China delayed visa to attend forum

Reuters | April 18, 2019

A former U.S. defense official who served on the Trump transition team said on Wednesday he had been prevented from speaking at a forum in China after its embassy in Washington failed to approve his visa. Michael Pillsbury said he submitted a visa application on March 22 and it had not been granted in time for him to travel to Beijing for the April 14 event. “So, is this a subtle message of some kind, or just a mistake,” Pillsbury told Reuters, adding he was still “waiting patiently for my visa to be issued”. In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said he needed to look into the details of the situation, but in principle Chinese embassies handle visa applications in accordance with the law and China welcomed people-to-people exchanges with the United States.

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The State of the Union Colony report provides a picture of how the City Council and City staff are handling the responsibilities and challenges of providing local government services to residents.

Spotlight

The State of the Union Colony report provides a picture of how the City Council and City staff are handling the responsibilities and challenges of providing local government services to residents.

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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Cyble Launches Defense Threat Intelligence Solution for Law Enforcement and Government Agencies

Cyble | November 08, 2021

Cyble, an AI-powered, Y Combinator-backed, cyber threat intelligence company that empowers organizations with darkweb & cybercrime monitoring, today announced the availability of its Law Enforcement Agency (LEA) and defense threat intelligence solution. This is aimed at specifically helping law enforcement and government agencies gather, analyze, and respond to the exposure of extremely sensitive information, enriched with Cyble’s SIGINT analysis and research, that may have implications for national security or geopolitical ramifications. In this regard, Cyble has been working with several law enforcement agencies across the world. Over the past few years, organized cybercriminals and state-backed threat actors have been actively targeting critical national infrastructure. Recent examples of this include the ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline in the US, which threatened to knock out fuel supply to half of the country. Countries worldwide have seen their governments and military networks being hacked and troves of sensitive data exfiltrated by state-backed and financially motivated adversaries. The threat here is two-fold. Threat Actors primarily target organizations designated as Critical Information Infrastructure (CII) such as power plants, nuclear installations, oil pipelines and refineries, telecom network providers, and transport networks. Additionally, threat actors are also targeting the supply chain eco-system of these organizations, which typically comprise technology OEMs, contract manufacturers, strategic R&D partners, and IT service providers. These attacks are carried out with an explicit intent of espionage, sabotage, as well as intellectual property theft. “As Cyble continues on its journey to empower more organizations with early threat intelligence, strategic collaborations like these play a key role. With an exponential increase in cyber-attacks as more organizations and agencies go digital, we aim to empower our government partners with advanced threat monitoring capabilities to provide expeditious intelligence which they can immediately act upon.” Manish Chachada, Co-founder and COO of Cyble Through Cyble Hawk, Cyble is now offering deep visibility into the darkweb and surface web to unearth attacks and discover sensitive information before it can be used to compromise state infrastructure, jeopardize national security, or cause diplomatic issues for governments. Government agencies will now be empowered to hunt for and discover sensitive strategic information that could be used to avert financial fraud, detect sensitive or strategic data exposure, and deploy suitable countermeasures. Further details on the capabilities are available here. “Cyble is excited to be collaborating with law enforcement and governmental agencies in helping them build a more resilient cyberspace presence, by empowering them with timely and actionable threat intelligence. As we expand our relationship to the government and LEA entities, we are thrilled to drive our research and intelligence capabilities to greater heights.” Beenu Arora, Co-founder and CEO of Cyble About Cyble Cyble is a global threat intelligence SaaS provider that helps enterprises protect themselves from cybercrimes and exposure in the darkweb. Its prime focus is to provide organizations with real-time visibility to their digital risk footprint. Backed by Y Combinator as part of the 2021 winter cohort, Cyble has also been recognized by Forbes as one of the top 20 Best Cybersecurity Start-ups to Watch. Headquartered in Alpharetta, Georgia, and with offices in Australia, Singapore, and India, Cyble has a global presence.

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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Accela and Avolve Announce New Reseller Partnership to Streamline Plan Reviews for State and Local Government

Accela | September 28, 2021

Accela®, the leading provider of cloud-based solutions for state and local government, and Avolve Software, today announced a new reseller partnership, building on their foundations of expertise in digitally transforming business processes for state and local government. Accela and Avolve have strengthened their partnership over the past decade, and bring together two industry-leading technologies into a robust solution for permitting and electronic plan review, all delivered on Microsoft Azure. Together through this partnership, Avolve and Accela can provide an unparalleled experience for applicants and plan reviewers at building agencies. ProjectDox, Avolve's electronic plan review solution, also provides proven business processes for public works, planning, engineering, fire, and any agency with a plan review requirement. As a result of Avolve and Accela's partnership, jurisdictions can now eliminate paper and PDF/email plan submissions, as well as conduct concurrent online plan reviews - all while communicating project status back into Accela's Civic Application for Building. With Avolve and Accela, agencies can achieve improved collaboration, transparency and process insight, resulting in lower costs, faster review cycles and a streamlined experience for both residents and agency staff. "Avolve is excited to formalize our relationship after working with Accela for more than a decade, with dozens of mutual customers throughout North America. As part of our applicant experience focus in our new ProjectDox 9.2, we created a new Accela Citizen Access integration that provides a seamless applicant experience with self-serve status insight on their plan review as it is progressing. Both organizations have strategically aligned with Microsoft to deploy our mutual customers on the Azure cloud, which additionally improves the performance, security and scalability of the integrated solutions." Avolve CEO Gary Heath Salt Lake City, Utah has relied on the Avolve+Accela solution for more than a decade, and ePlan reduced plan approval times for the city by as much as 50%, saving days and even weeks. After implementing Avolve+Accela, Salt Lake City also began tracking environmental conservation savings, and the estimated reductions are significant: 360,000 fewer miles driven by applicants; 512,000 fewer pounds of printed paper; 2,300 fewer pounds of hydrocarbons released into the atmosphere. Additionally, in light of current health and safety challenges, both staff and citizens are able to continue operations in a safe, online environment. "We are thrilled to grow our partnership with Avolve and expand Accela's network of trusted technology alliances that help government agencies streamline critical plan review processes on Microsoft Azure. Technology plays a critical role in helping governments serve their constituents and simplify permitting and plan reviews. Accela is committed to aligning with partners, like Avolve, to deliver the best cloud-based solutions to governments and help them provide essential community services." Tom Nieto, chief operating officer at Accela The value of Avolve and Accela's complementary technologies is exponentially enhanced when deployed on Microsoft Azure. This combined rich solution assures jurisdictions that their information is secure, removes onerous IT requirements, and eliminates the headaches of upgrading to future versions. By relying on Accela, Avolve, and Microsoft, agencies can deliver a seamless citizen and staff experience, improved review process visibility, up to a 60% increase in plan review efficiencies, and a thorough security and audit trail. The new reseller partnership makes it easier than ever for jurisdictions to acquire the complete permitting and plan review solution on Microsoft's cloud environment in a single procurement. Accela delivers innovative, market-leading SaaS solutions that help governments worldwide to build thriving communities, grow businesses, and protect citizens' services. With Accela, state and local governments can unlock the power of the cloud and offer more modern services, simplify critical workflows, optimize costs and accelerate digitization. In total, Accela delivers leading cloud-based solutions to 80% of the top 100 U.S. cities and strengthens communities for more than 275 million citizens globally. About Avolve Software Avolve's suite of ePlan Life Cycle products brings efficiency and ease to submitting, reviewing, approving, storing and accessing building plans and data within your jurisdiction. Over 150+ cities and counties in the US and Canada use ProjectDox ePlan Review and one in every five citizens live in jurisdictions served by ProjectDox. Avolve has over 1000 deployed plan review processes, with over 2 million plan reviews performed on more than 100 million plan set files. Leading the industry for 15 years, our depth of ePlan process knowledge and services experience is unrivaled. About Accela Accela provides market-leading cloud solutions that empower the most innovative state and local governments around the world to build thriving communities, grow businesses, and protect citizens. More than 275 million citizens globally benefit from Accela's solutions, which are powered by Azure, for permitting, licensing, code enforcement, and service request management. Accela's fast-to-implement Civic Applications, built on its robust and extensible Civic Platform, help agencies address specific needs today, while ensuring they are prepared for any emerging or complex challenges in the future. The company was recently recognized as a 2021 Microsoft US Partner Award winner for its innovative SaaS solutions to help governments respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, and was named as one of the Largest East Bay Tech Employers by San Francisco Business Times. Accela is headquartered in San Ramon, California, with additional offices around the world.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY

Nearmap and Carahsoft Partner to Provide Geospatial Content and Location Intelligence Services at Scale to U.S. Federal Government Agencies

Nearmap | May 19, 2022

Nearmap, a leading aerial imagery and location intelligence company, and Carahsoft Technology Corp., the Trusted IT Solutions Provider, announced a partnership that will make it easier for Government customers to obtain geospatial data. Under the agreement, Carahsoft will serve as a distributor of Nearmap products to U.S. government customers, making Nearmap aerial imagery and geospatial data available to the public sector through Carahsoft's network of reseller partners, NASA Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement (SEWP) V, Information Technology Enterprise Solutions – Software 2 (ITES-SW2), National Cooperative Purchasing Alliance (NCPA), and OMNIA Partners contracts. Through Carahsoft, government agencies in the U.S. will more easily and efficiently be able to purchase geospatial content and location data from leading location intelligence company Nearmap with access to preferred government customer pricing. These contract vehicles will also provide U.S. Federal Government customers with streamlined access to some of the world's most current, accurate and scalable location data and tools. Applications for this powerful location data include national security, military and civil asset management, infrastructure management, environmental studies, and natural disaster response, resilience response and recovery missions. Our successful track record with U.S. government agencies, including the Army National Guard, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and United States Army Corps of Engineers, drove our decision to pursue these contracts. The stamp of approval Nearmap has received validates our world-leading capabilities and cost-effective solutions. This ensures Nearmap can continue to deliver high-quality aerial imagery and location data to support the myriad of critical services that government agencies provide for their citizens." Tony Agresta, Executive Vice President and General Manager of North America at Nearmap Nearmap is widely recognized as a top location intelligence provider for State and Local Government organizations wishing to improve their workflows and save taxpayer resources. Most notably, Nearmap technology and content is now used in 42 of the 50 U.S. states for a variety of use cases. The announcement of Nearmap's new U.S. government distribution channels further demonstrates the growth and importance Nearmap places on supporting government agencies in the U.S. "Nearmap's offerings allow agencies to streamline workflows, make better informed decisions through reliable intelligence and strengthen their digital transformation strategy," said Lacey Wean, Director for Geospatial Solutions at Carahsoft. "We are pleased to leverage our expertise in the government realm and that of our reseller partners to include Nearmap's solutions in our growing geospatial solutions portfolio and to make them available to the public sector." About Nearmap Nearmap provides easy, instant access to high resolution aerial imagery, city-scale 3D content, AI data sets, and geospatial tools. Using its own patented camera systems and processing software, Nearmap captures wide-scale urban areas in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand several times each year, making current content instantly available in the cloud via web app or API integration. Every day, Nearmap helps thousands of users conduct virtual site visits for deep, data-driven insights—enabling informed decisions, streamlined operations and better financial performance. Founded in Australia in 2007, Nearmap is one of the largest aerial survey companies in the world and is publicly listed on the Australian Securities Exchange. About Carahsoft Carahsoft Technology Corp. is The Trusted Government IT Solutions Provider, supporting Public Sector organizations across Federal, State and Local Government agencies and Education and Healthcare markets. As the Master Government Aggregator® for our vendor partners, we deliver solutions for Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity, MultiCloud, DevSecOps, Big Data, Open Source, Customer Experience and more. Working with resellers, systems integrators and consultants, our sales and marketing teams provide industry leading IT products, services and training through hundreds of contract vehicles.

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