U.S. Justice Department to review Google's deal for Fitbit: source

Google | December 11, 2019

The U.S. Justice Department will review plans by Alphabet Inc-owned (GOOGL.O) Google to buy fitness tracker maker Fitbit Inc (FIT.N) for possible antitrust issues, a source told Reuters on Tuesday. The $2.1 billion deal will give search and advertising giant Google the capability to take on Apple and Samsung in the crowded market for fitness trackers and smart watches. It was announced on Nov. 1. Watchdog groups like Public Citizen and the Center for Digital Democracy, among others, have urged antitrust enforcers to block the deal on the grounds that it will give Google even more data about American consumers. The New York Post was the first to report that the Justice Department will review the merger. The Federal Trade Commission also reviews mergers and could have investigated Google’s deal for Fitbit.

Spotlight

DES Tribal Relations Liaison, Mary Huyser, serves as the point of contact and works with the 22 Indian Nations and Tribes throughout Arizona on a variety of human services issues. She has been traveling constantly to provide outreach to the Tribes for needed programs and services provided by DES. In this newly-released Tribal Relations overview video, Mary expresses that the best part of her job, is visiting the Tribes.

Spotlight

DES Tribal Relations Liaison, Mary Huyser, serves as the point of contact and works with the 22 Indian Nations and Tribes throughout Arizona on a variety of human services issues. She has been traveling constantly to provide outreach to the Tribes for needed programs and services provided by DES. In this newly-released Tribal Relations overview video, Mary expresses that the best part of her job, is visiting the Tribes.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY, GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Esri Partners with Federal Government and State of California to Tackle Climate Change, Improve Resilience

Esri | September 20, 2022

Esri, the global leader in GIS and location intelligence, has partnered with agencies in the federal government and the state of California to build comprehensive and interactive climate data portals and targeted applications to better respond to climate hazards and conservation opportunities. Agencies have used GIS technology for decades to record and track authoritative data on a range of topics that can provide critical insights into complex challenges such as climate change. “Responding to climate change effectively requires a whole of government approach, By harnessing the vast data resources of federal agencies, we’re providing local communities with the information they need to make impactful, equitable decisions that will improve the lives of their citizens.” -David J Hayes, special assistant to the President for climate policy at the White House. This past week, Esri partnered with the Biden-Harris Administration, Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Department of the Interior (DOI), to jointly launch the Climate Mapping for Resilience and Adaptation (CMRA) portal. This new website helps organizations plan and implement climate resiliency actions by using a new screening tool that assesses the vulnerability of counties, census tracts and tribal lands. The location-based tool can be used to evaluate projects based on exposure to climate-related hazards now and in the future and can strengthen proposals for federal funding. In July, Esri partnered with NOAA and the Biden Administration through the interagency National Integrated Heat Health Information System (NIHHIS) to launch Heat.gov. Heat.gov offers maps, data and guidance that inform operational decisions by communities on a daily basis related to heat health and its impacts. Communities can also use current and forecasted data to plan equitable mitigation measures in anticipation of future heat events, such as where to plant more trees to improve shade in urban areas. The site seamlessly integrates heat information from across federal agencies, including heat forecasts from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service, the new national Climate and Health Outlook developed by the Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC’s Heat and Health Tracker, as well as heat planning and preparedness guides. In April of 2022, Esri partnered with the California Natural Resources Agency to build CA Nature in support of Governor Newsom’s vision to conserve 30 percent of the state’s land and coastal water by 2030 to fight species loss and ecosystem destruction. CA Nature provides publicly available interactive mapping and visualization tools to identify conservation opportunities and track progress against the 30x30 goal. Powered by Esri’s ArcGIS, CA Nature explains the 30x30 mission, visualizes biodiversity throughout the state, and catalogs protected lands. “Together, these efforts reflect the will and desire of governments at all levels to use maps and data to empower communities to effectively meet our most pressing climate challenges, We are encouraged that governments are embracing the power of maps and GIS to better understand climate impacts and how to plan and build for a more resilient and sustainable future.” -Jack Dangermond president Esri. About Esri: Esri, the global market leader in geographic information system (GIS) software, location intelligence, and mapping, helps customers unlock the full potential of data to improve operational and business results. Founded in 1969 in Redlands, California, USA, Esri software is deployed in more than 350,000 organizations globally and in over 200,000 institutions in the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, including Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, nonprofits, and universities. Esri has regional offices, international distributors, and partners providing local support in over 100 countries on six continents. With its pioneering commitment to geospatial information technology, Esri engineers the most innovative solutions for digital transformation, the Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced analytics.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY

Carahsoft Announces FedRAMP-Compliant Adobe Acrobat Sign for Government, Enabled by Okta

Carahsoft | October 14, 2022

Carahsoft Technology Corp., The Trusted Government IT Solutions Provider®, today announced the availability of the Okta-powered Adobe Acrobat Sign for Government. Adobe Acrobat Sign for Government enables government agencies to transform inefficient, outdated paper workflows into a modern process using digital forms that make signing and approvals easy, secure and legal. The Okta Identity Platform brings ease of integration for technology teams and simplifies users’ experience while ensuring their safe connection to the service. In addition, Okta’s Regulated Moderate Cloud has enabled Adobe to achieve FedRAMP Moderate authorization for Adobe Acrobat Sign for Government. E-signatures have helped to improve efficiencies in government for years. With FedRAMP authorization, Adobe Acrobat Sign for Government can now be used to support Federal mission-critical services like emergency management and social services as well as mission support services such as procurement and human resources. This product is ideally suited for situations where the loss of confidentiality, integrity and availability would have adverse effects on an agency’s operations, such as cyber health or digital services. “Okta is committed to help government technology teams modernize and secure their operations using Okta’s leading identity platform. Our collaboration with Adobe is designed to streamline Federal e-signature services, starting with a safe and smooth connection for all users, in line with the Government’s security requirements.” -Katy Mann, Vice President, Federal, Okta. As we were expanding our offerings to service our growing government customer base, we realized that we needed to be FedRAMP-compliant if we wanted to continue to be a top choice for our government customers, said Brendan Curley, VP of Public Sector Sales, Digital Media, U.S, Adobe. To provide our customers with a modern, centralized, secure and FedRAMP-compliant solution, we turned to Okta, a leader in identity authentication. “Adobe Acrobat Sign for Government is a major advantage for government agencies to improve and modernize digital experiences for their citizens, We look forward to providing the FedRAMP-authorized solution through our reseller partners to simplify and advance digital processes for the Government and its constituents.” -Cortney Steiner, Vice President who leads the Adobe Team at Carahsoft. 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 Customer Experience, Cybersecurity, MultiCloud, DevSecOps, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Open Source 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. About Okta: Okta is the leading independent identity provider. The Okta Identity Cloud enables organizations to securely connect the right people to the right technologies at the right time. With more than 7,000 pre-built integrations to applications and infrastructure providers, Okta provides simple and secure access to people and organizations everywhere, giving them the confidence to reach their full potential. More than 16,400 organizations, including JetBlue, Nordstrom, Siemens, Slack, Takeda, and Teach for America, trust Okta to help protect the identities of their workforces and customers.

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CYBERSECURITY

U.S. Department of Defense Awards Accrete Multi-Million Dollar AI Production OT Software Licensing Contract

Accrete | November 18, 2022

Accrete has secured a five-year multi-million dollar Production Operational Technology (OT) software licensing contract from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) for Argus™, Accrete's highly configurable, dual-use open-source threat detection AI software solution, worth tens of millions of dollars. The exact contract value and deal terms cannot be disclosed per government guidelines. Argus continuously analyzes the open-source web to predict anomalous and nefarious behavior hidden in plain sight. Argus performs work that would otherwise require thousands of intelligence analysts at an estimated cost of hundreds of millions of dollars a year in areas critical to national security such as supply chain risk management, vulnerability research, intellectual property theft, social media intelligence, insider threat detection, and anti-money laundering. Argus reads, understands, and learns from an exploding universe of dynamic, unstructured data, including news, blogs, think tank publications, strategy papers, social media chatter, financial filings, microprocessor manuals, and binaries in multiple languages. The AI software automatically extracts, normalizes, and maps relationships between entities, models influence, and surfaces behavioral anomalies indicative of potentially illicit activity that are too complex for humans to identify. "We are at the dawn of an entirely new type of conflict, driven by rapid advances in artificial intelligence. Whereas nuclear proliferation threatened entire populations, AI proliferation individualizes warfare by manipulating targeted groups through digital means. Using AI, bad actors can propagate disinformation to exploit ignorance and weaken civil society causing billions of dollars of damage to the U.S. economy, As a prime defense contractor licensing configurable dual-use AI software directly to the DoD, Accrete is in a unique position to scale its business with the Defense, Intelligence, and Special Operations communities, as well as other government and enterprise customers, and bolster national security as well as intelligence competitiveness in previously unimaginable ways." -Prashant Bhuyan, Founder, CEO, and Chairman of Accrete, Inc. In 2020, the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), which former Defense Secretary Ashton Carter established in collaboration with former Google CEO Eric Schmidt to strengthen U.S. national security by accelerating DoD adoption of commercial technology, awarded Accrete with an Other Transaction Authority (OTA) Prototype contract after Accrete outperformed 65 other companies in a competitive review. The DoD accepted the Argus prototype within 15 months, and Accrete worked closely with the DIU and the DoD to transition the OTA Prototype contract into a first-of-its-kind multi-year Production OT AI software licensing deal. William Wall, who leads Accrete’s federal sales subsidiary, Accrete AI Government, and formerly served as a U.S. Special Forces Lieutenant Colonel and with the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), said, "We are extremely excited to announce this award, especially as this is the first production OTA that our DoD customer has ever awarded. There are very few start-up technology companies that successfully navigate the extremely challenging OTA process through prototype acceptance and transition into a multi-year production OT software licensing agreement. Our success is a testament to the efficacy, scalability, and configurability of our AI technology and, more importantly, to our employees' relentless focus on providing solutions that are tightly aligned with end-user requirements. As we continue to scale, Accrete looks forward to providing its growing customer base with powerful dual-use AI solutions that not only drive efficiency through the automation of analytical work but also produce mission-critical insights beyond human capacity.” Zachary Smith, Accrete AI Government’s Program Manager and retired special agent who spent most of his 23-year Air Force career focused on countering human, technical, and cyber-based threats, observed, "Based on Argus' blazing speed and scale, in seconds, analysts will be able to research and visualize complex relationships that would have taken at least a month of steady research and annotation. Within the framework of the DoD's acquisition risk review process, Argus will enable supply chain risk analysis to be more efficient and effective while delivering enhanced value at a lower cost per insight." Accrete's continuously learning AI technology enables the templatization of analytical workflows. Templates such as Argus for Threat Detection learn from sparse data and are configurable for use cases including supply chain influence, social media intelligence, reverse engineering, and logistics disruption for both government and commercial customers. In addition to helping the DoD predict bad actors that may be intentionally obscuring identities to influence the supply chain, Argus has also been enabling the U.S. Air Force to reverse engineer binaries from microprocessor manuals to detect vulnerabilities in firmware. Accrete’s dual-use AI solutions have also been proven in industry, including media and entertainment companies automating talent scouting to predict emerging talent from social chatter; insurance brokers automating lead generation to find the shortest path to the hottest lead; private equity and venture firms automating pitch deck review through smart table extraction; and automobile dealerships automating the writing of marketing content. About Accrete: Accrete's mission is to create AI so powerful that it amplifies human reasoning and enables government entities and commercial enterprises to grow in previously unimaginable ways. Accrete, founded in 2017, delivers configurable dual-use AI solutions that automate complex analytical work for both government and enterprise customers with a focus on defense, intelligence, and cybersecurity. Accrete has 128 employees globally and is headquartered in Lower Manhattan with offices in Alexandria, Va. and Wellesley, Mass.

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