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.

Spotlight

Capital formation through private placement of securities has increased substantially since the onset of the financial crisis. Amounts raised through unregistered securities offerings have outpaced the level of capital formation through registered securities offerings during recent years, and totaled more than $2 trillion during 2014. In this analysis, we provide insights into a large segment of the unregistered securities market2 : offerings conducted in reliance on Regulation D of the Securities Act. Using information collected from Form D filings, this study provides a detailed examination of offering characteristics, including the types of issuers, investors, and financial intermediaries that participate in the offerings. As part of the examination, we analyze the new Rule 506(c) exemption which became effective in September 2013 and allows general solicitation and general advertising, reversing almost 80 years of regulatory practice. We also provide some perspective on the state of competition and potential regulatory burden in alternate capital markets by analyzing the level of activity among the various registered and unregistered offering alternatives.


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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Leidos Awarded Contract to Support Federal Highway Administration Policy Initiatives

Leidos | September 22, 2022

Leidos ( NYSE: LDOS), a FORTUNE® 500 science and technology leader, has been awarded a new Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to provide program and technical support to the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Office of Policy and Governmental Affairs. The multiple-award BPA contract has a five-year base period of performance followed by a six-month option period. It holds an estimated value of $60 million. Work will be performed at multiple Leidos facilities. "We look forward to working with the FHWA on this program to provide support in assessing data and increasing safety on our roads, This win reinforces our capabilities to provide critical, mission-focused policy support." -Fran Hill, senior vice president of Leidos' Transportation Solutions. Through this contract, Leidos will support FHWA efforts to develop highway and intergovernmental policy positions, analyze the impact of investment on transportation performance and the economy, and enhance the administration's strategic plan and performance management processes. This will enable expert consultation services on cutting-edge data acquisition and demand modeling. The contract expands Leidos' work with the USDOT and FHWA. Leidos also supports FHWA's Office of Safety and Office of Operations with critical services that strengthen and protect our nation's infrastructure and ensure safe mobility to people and goods. About Leidos: Leidos is a Fortune 500® technology, engineering, and science solutions and services leader working to solve the world's toughest challenges in the defense, intelligence, civil, and health markets. The company's 44,000 employees support vital missions for government and commercial customers. Headquartered in Reston, Virginia, Leidos reported annual revenues of approximately $13.7 billion for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY,GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Kraken Qualified to Sell Directly to Government of Canada under Pathway to Commercialization Program

KRAKEN ROBOTICS | September 13, 2022

Kraken Robotics Inc. (TSX-V: PNG, OTCQB: KRKNF), Canada’s Ocean Company, is pleased to announce that after successful completion of an Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC) Testing Stream contract with the Royal Canadian Navy earlier this year, Kraken has been among the first Canadian companies qualified to sell its innovation directly to the Government of Canada without further competition. This qualification for Kraken’s OceanVision™ solution is under Canada’s new Pathway to Commercialization framework1 initiated by ISC. While this approval does not have a value in of itself, direct purchases can be up to $8 million per contract and are available to all government departments. “Over the past year, Kraken has had significant interest in its technologies and services from various Canadian Government departments and agencies. We are excited to be able to offer the OceanVision service via ISC’s new PTC program to be an avenue for these departments and agencies to avail of our needed and innovative solutions. Potential applications of the OceanVision service could include habitat mapping and monitoring of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), high resolution seabed mapping for augmenting Route Survey applications in Port and Harbour Security, or even shipwreck search and survey for marine archaeological requirements. We see significant potential for this service here in Canada.” -Karl Kenny, Kraken President and CEO. About Kraken’s OceanVision Service: Kraken’s OceanVision service provides off the shelf, turnkey ultra-high resolution Synthetic Aperture Sonar (SAS) seabed imagery and bathymetry at an affordable price, delivering higher resolution, range, and area coverage rates (ACR). The increased range, resolution and associated higher ACR of SAS over traditional Side Scan Sonar and Multibeam Sonar systems significantly expands the capabilities of military, scientific, and commercial applications. Kraken’s OceanVision is capable of 2 cm x 2 cm Ultra High-Definition imaging at long ranges. Kraken’s OceanVision Service can provide significant benefits to government agencies, offering access to cutting edge technology “as needed”, without concern for equipment obsolescence, life cycle costs, or operator skill fade. As it relates specifically to the Government of Canada, Kraken’s OceanVision offers many advantages: Kraken’s technology greatly enhances image quality and significantly reduces the time of traditional seabed surveys due to its advanced world-leading technology. OceanVision assets can be deployed to assist in mapping areas of interest ahead of regular operations, with the image quality required to enable change detection and optimize revisit rates. This has the potential to provide the Government of Canada a competitive edge for detecting bottom objects in complex seabeds. The OceanVision service application can augment existing survey activities while simultaneously supporting nearshore hydrographic mapping and charting requirements on an annual basis with high-definition resolution, freeing up valuable Government assets for other mission critical functions. OceanVision provides online and offline data analysis capabilities, enabling users to leverage Kraken’s extensive experience in image processing, target detection, and bottom classification. ABOUT KRAKEN ROBOTICS INC: Kraken Robotics Inc. (TSX.V:PNG) (OTCQB: KRKNF) is a marine technology company dedicated to the production and sale of software-centric sensors, subsea batteries, and underwater robotic systems. The company is headquartered in Newfoundland with offices in Canada, U.S., Germany, Denmark, and Brazil. In July 2021, Kraken acquired PanGeo Subsea, a leading services company specializing in high-resolution 3D acoustic imaging solutions for the sub-seabed. PanGeo with offices in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Kraken. Kraken is ranked as a Top 100 marine technology company by Marine Technology Reporter.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY,GOVERNMENT FINANCE

DARPA Launches Crypto Project with Inca Digital

Inca Digital | September 26, 2022

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded Inca Digital's government contracting division, Inca Digital Federal, a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract to research advanced methods for analyzing activity related to financial applications of distributed ledgers in a project called: "Mapping the Impact of Digital Financial Assets". The aim of the SBIR is to understand and visualize how digital assets implicate national security. "Digital asset markets hold amazing promise, but also contend with money laundering, market manipulation, and state actors that may pose risks to U.S. national security, Given the increasing prevalence of digital assets, the Department of Defense and other federal agencies need to have better tools to understand how digital assets operate and how to leverage their jurisdictional authority over digital asset markets globally." -Adam Zarazinski, CEO of Inca Digital. As a result of this SBIR, Inca Digital Federal will develop a first-of-its-kind cryptocurrency ecosystem mapping tool for analyzing cross-market crypto-financial data and risk. The data analytics from Inca Digital will allow both the United States government and commercial companies to: Perform cross-market, crypto-financial mapping and analysis Understand relationships between digital asset firms and non-digital asset entities Identify how cryptocurrency may affect traditional financial systems and vice-versa Provide insight into the use of blockchain-based technologies linked to money laundering, terrorist financing, and sanctions evasions across systems (e.g., fiat-to-exchange, exchange-to-blockchain, and cross-blockchain transactions) Better understand money flows in and out of blockchain systems Identify where recipients of cryptocurrency can exchange it for local fiat currency, or goods and services, globally Understand how cryptocurrencies are used in different U.S. government/Department of Defense areas of responsibility This research is being developed by funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The views, opinions and/or findings expressed are those of the author and should not be interpreted as representing the official views or policies of the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government. About Inca Digital: Inca Digital and its government contracting entity, Inca Digital Federal, analyze data across crypto markets, blockchains, and news and social media to deliver comprehensive intelligence to the financial institutions, technology firms and government entities that are shaping the digital asset space.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY,GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

N-Ovate Solutions Launches SmartGov Data Tech

N-Ovate Solutions | September 15, 2022

In response to the overwhelming need from government agencies and the education sector, N-Ovate Solutions announces the launch of the SmartGov Data Tech today. N-Ovate has partnered with the Black Progress Matters Black-Owned Business Incubator to create an unparalleled, purpose-built modern data stack specifically for governments and education industries. Specializing in Cybersecurity, IT Strategy & Planning, and IT Telecom & Network Services, N-Ovate Solutions is an innovative agency created by Tye Hayes -- the former CTO of the City of Atlanta, with over two decades of experience working in the public sector. Tye Hayes and her team have developed the new SmartGov Data Stack to help government agencies manage data more efficiently. Focusing on data governance, risk reduction, & compliance, N-Ovate developed SmartGov Data Tech to solve the unique challenges government entities face regarding data management. "When harnessed correctly, Big Data can empower governments to modernize faster and serve constituents more effectively by building more predictive systems that address the implications of gathered information." - Tye Hayes, Founder & CEO, N-Ovate Solutions and SmartGov Data Tech. Tye Hayes and N-Ovate Solutions' expertise in government agencies and education allows them to understand this complexity better than anyone else. This unique perspective will help SmartGov Data Tech to provide valuable insights and solutions for clients looking to improve efficiency and optimize services. The SmartGov Data Stack, powered by Tye and her innovative team, is poised to be the data management technology leader for government agencies with the ever-growing demand for data solutions.

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Spotlight

Capital formation through private placement of securities has increased substantially since the onset of the financial crisis. Amounts raised through unregistered securities offerings have outpaced the level of capital formation through registered securities offerings during recent years, and totaled more than $2 trillion during 2014. In this analysis, we provide insights into a large segment of the unregistered securities market2 : offerings conducted in reliance on Regulation D of the Securities Act. Using information collected from Form D filings, this study provides a detailed examination of offering characteristics, including the types of issuers, investors, and financial intermediaries that participate in the offerings. As part of the examination, we analyze the new Rule 506(c) exemption which became effective in September 2013 and allows general solicitation and general advertising, reversing almost 80 years of regulatory practice. We also provide some perspective on the state of competition and potential regulatory burden in alternate capital markets by analyzing the level of activity among the various registered and unregistered offering alternatives.

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