Information Technology

A Plan to Reduce Bench Warrants—By Text Message

After success in one county, Minnesota is rolling out a statewide program that sends reminders to defendants about their court appearances.

Protection from Ransomware Attacks Isn’t as Simple as Insurance

In the wake of high-profile ransomware attacks, local governments are looking to cyberinsurance to mitigate risk. But not all policies are equal and merit close scrutiny, experts say.

States Try to Stop Political Deepfake Videos

State lawmakers are increasingly focused on deceptively edited videos, a pervasive technology that advocates say has the potential to disrupt elections. But are bans constitutional?

State Attorneys General Launch Google Antitrust Probe

The investigation of Google’s advertising practices is the latest to target tech companies.

Inside One School District's Virtual Classroom

In West Virginia, state law allows K-12 schools to offer virtual curriculum while maintaining their levels of per-pupil funding.

Phone Companies Make Pact with State Attorneys General to Combat Robocalls

As part of the agreement, 12 phone carriers pledged to implement call-blocking technology and to monitor their networks for illegal robocalls.

How 3-D Mapping Technology Could Improve Firefighter Safety

Memphis is experimenting with technology more frequently used for autonomous vehicles to create indoor maps of buildings for first responders.

Coordinated Ransomware Attack in Texas Seen as Escalation From Prior Hacks

Twenty-three local governments were attacked over the weekend. The willingness of city governments to pay ransoms may be emboldening opportunistic hackers, security experts warn.

Facial Recognition Software Incorrectly Flags 26 State Lawmakers as Criminals, ACLU Says

One California lawmaker said a recent test of Amazon's technology is proof that it should be kept from body-worn police cameras. The company says the testing method used by the ACLU wasn't fair.

How Libraries are Embracing Artificial Intelligence

A humanoid robot named Pepper helps teach coding at Roanoke County Public Libraries, one of many branches across the country embracing the emerging technology.

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Three Steps Governments Can Take to Guard Against Ransomware Attacks

A federal cybersecurity agency and state government associations issued guidance Monday on protecting city, county and state governments from the growing threat of a ransomware attack.

Figuring Out How to Go After International Robocallers

The FCC will vote on a proposed rule next month that would ban malicious caller ID spoofing for text messages and robocalls that originate outside the United States. State attorneys general have long requested federal assistance with complaints about robocallers from out of the country.

Cities Outline Their Challenges to the FCC's 5G Rule in Court Filings

Local governments filed briefs this week in a lawsuit that asserts the FCC overstepped its authority in crafting broad restrictions on municipalities' ability to regulate and charge for deployment of 5G technology.

In Kansas, Using an App to Streamline DMV Registrations

The state launched the iKan app as a way to make it easier for residents to renew driver’s licenses or vehicle registrations. A state official said it also ended up generating new revenue.

FCC Votes to Stop More Suspected Robocalls

Complaints about robocalls have been a major issue for state attorneys general, who advocated for more federal action.

The Cybersecurity Crisis Requires Getting Serious About Diversity

It is not simply a numbers game: diversity is a proven “differentiator” that research shows makes organizations better.

Questions About City Services? In These Places, Turn to Alexa.

Increasing numbers of state and local governments are allowing residents to query Amazon's Alexa for information about services and sometimes even make requests.

'Phone Addicts' Are the New Drunk Drivers, Report Says

An analysis of driver behavior data found that drivers are growing more distracted by their devices.