Lucas Ropek

Staff Writer

Lucas Ropek is a staff writer for Government Technology. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and writer in Massachusetts and New York. He received his Bachelor's degree in English from Kenyon College in Ohio. He lives in Northern California.

May 17, 2019

Aggressive Initiative to Shore Up Cybersecurity in Arkansas

A new bill signed into law by the governor will create an extensive infrastructure for combating bad actors.

May 15, 2019

San Francisco Supervisors Ban Facial Recognition Technology

Following extensive input from law enforcement and civil liberties groups, lawmakers voted this week to put a moratorium on municipal use of the technology. San Francisco is the first in the country to make such a move.

May 10, 2019

Major Reorganization of Florida IT Agencies Imminent

A bill passed by the Legislature and expected to be signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis will see the state’s predominant IT agency — the Agency for State Technology — folded into the Department of Management Services.

May 8, 2019

Package of Privacy Bills Advances in California Legislature

A bevy of bills would create additional consumer protections, but key parts of the legislation have shifted or fallen away since originally introduced. They include restrictions on what data voice assistants can store.

May 7, 2019

For Second Time in a Year, Baltimore Hit With Ransomware

Officials have shut down a majority of the city's servers as a precaution, according to a spokesperson for the mayor's office. Meanwhile, core services like fire, police and emergency medical services remain operational.

May 6, 2019

Michigan Selects Longtime IT Veteran Jack Harris as New CTO

Harris, who has worked within the Office of the Chief Technology Officer for many years, and held the position in an interim capacity since August last year, will now serve at its permanent leader.

May 2, 2019

California Proposal Would Curb Smart Speaker Snooping

A bill being considered in the state Legislature would penalize companies that used Internet of Things devices to eavesdrop on consumers without their permission.

April 30, 2019

Handful of States Begin Legislating "Deepfake" Videos

According to some, the new AI-powered videos have the power to confuse and mislead voters, potentially compromising election integrity. But there isn't much in the way of legislation at the state level to address them.

April 29, 2019

California Bill Would Stop Data Throttling During Emergencies

The new legislation stemmed from an outcry last year over Verizon's cutback in Internet service to firefighters battling one of the state's largest wildfires. The company apologized, but opposes the bill.

April 24, 2019

Self-Driving Cars Get the Greenlight Under New Utah Law

The new legislation allows computer systems in autonomous vehicles to be considered drivers and opens up the opportunity for AVs to take to public roads.

April 23, 2019

Microsoft Exec John Paul Farmer Named as NYC CTO

Mayor Bill de Blasio has selected the former Microsoft technology and civic innovation director as the city's next chief technology officer, the city announced April 23.

April 19, 2019

Why Did Washington State's Privacy Legislation Collapse?

The bill would have been the second of its kind in the nation, but the gap between the version supported by the tech industry, and the more stringent version favored by privacy groups, proved too big to close.

April 18, 2019

Will San Francisco Ban Facial Recognition Technology?

A proposed ordinance would prohibit any municipal use of the software, a move that civil rights groups support, but is opposed by law enforcement organizations and some industry groups.

April 16, 2019

Los Angeles County Locates Missing Seniors With Technology

The county hopes to reduce the number of lost or missing seniors with the aid of special bracelets worn by individuals that can be tracked by radio technology. Initial results look promising.

April 11, 2019

Avoidable Outage Continues to Plague NYC Wireless Network

A planned reset of the global GPS system last weekend disrupted some city services. But officials say no critical systems were impacted and that the NYCWiN network will be fully restored within a few days.

April 11, 2019

Florida’s First GIO Returns to the Private Sector

Ekaterina Fitos, who was named as the state’s first geographic information officer in December 2017 before transferring to another agency, has left state service to join a civil engineering firm.

March 25, 2019

Kamala Harris Proposes State and Local Digital Service Teams

The Democratic senator wants state and local government to get smarter about how it uses technology, following in the footsteps of relatively recent federal outfits such as the U.S. Digital Service.

March 22, 2019

Funding Alone May Not Save Minnesota’s Troubled Licensing System

A recent influx of funding was meant to fix the state’s struggling Licensing and Registration System. Now, lawmakers are grappling with whether to pull the plug and start from scratch.

March 13, 2019

Company Pushes Controversial Contractor-Monitoring Legislation

Legislation being lobbied for by tech company TransparentBusiness would mandate contractor monitoring to ensure work/time verification. Critics contend it would cause unnecessary security risks to government data.

March 8, 2019

Maine Names Longtime University IT Leader as New State CIO

After Maine elected a new governor in November, longtime IT leader Jim Smith stepped down as CIO. Now the state has a new CIO in Fred Brittain, who spent more than two decades with the University of Maine system.

March 5, 2019

Connecticut Governor Wants Big Investment in Technology

Ned Lamont has put forward several initiatives that would make the state more digital, smarter and more responsive to residents. The effort could also reduce state costs by 75 percent in certain areas.

March 1, 2019

San Diego, USMC Partner on Regional Smart City Initiatives

The California city and the U.S. Marine Corps will work together on a number of projects designed to enhance security and services for residents.

February 26, 2019

California IT Leaders Share Strategies, Lessons Learned

During the 2019 California Public Sector CIO Academy in Sacramento, technology leaders gathered to discuss the future and how best to transform citizen-facing services.

February 26, 2019

Florida Legislature Seeks Answers to Blockchain's Potential

New legislation would create a working group to assess the technology's potential applications and possibly recommend policies and state investments to help make Florida a leader in blockchain technology.

February 20, 2019

Hawaii IT Bills Would Create CDO, Unify Data Management

A new series of bills would create a position for a chief data officer, as well as an associated task force to help develop, manage and implement state data policies.

February 19, 2019

Newark, N.J., Names Former State CIO Emanuel as IT Chief

Steve Emanuel, who formerly served as the CIO for the state of New Jersey, now returns to the public sector to helm operations for the state's largest city. Emanuel has decades of public and private IT experience.

February 14, 2019

Police Hope Software Can Help Avoid 'Losing' Sex Offenders

Continually improving information sharing, mapping and content management systems have allowed law enforcement agencies across the country to keep better watch of some of society's most dangerous criminals.

February 11, 2019

N.D. Cybersecurity Bill Seeks Unified Approach, Centralized IT

A bill newly passed in the North Dakota state Senate would overhaul the state's cybersecurity strategy, emphasizing unity and greater centralization.