GovConJudicata Weekly Debrief (1/22–26)
This week's Weekly Debrief covers Amazon's Recognition tool and the FBI, Biden's pick for Pentagon S&T position, fixed price deals and DOD, FCC's orbital debris mitigation rules, and space rock.
"A Department of Justice disclosure that the FBI is in the “initiation” phase of using Amazon’s Rekognition tool for a project doesn’t run afoul of the company’s moratorium on police use of the software, an Amazon spokesperson said in response to FedScoop questions Friday."
"Aprille Ericsson, President Joe Biden’s nominee to be the assistant secretary of defense for science and technology, told lawmakers that streamlining processes for small businesses to engage with the Pentagon will be her top priority if confirmed. 'I understand that some of the problems that the Department of Defense has with their SBIR/STTR programs are very similar to what we’ve experienced in NASA. So bringing those lessons learned to this community would be an asset,' Ericsson told lawmakers during her confirmation hearing Tuesday."
" Lockheed Martin chief executive Jim Taiclet offered a warning during a quarterly earnings call this week. The government, he said, is putting too much risk on defense companies by flexing its muscle as the sole buyer of military hardware, and his firm is changing its approach. 'We don’t have any must-win programs with Lockheed Martin anymore,' Taiclet said."
"The Federal Communications Commission has clarified, but not altered, rules to mitigate orbital debris. The five FCC commissioners voted unanimously during a Jan. 25 meeting to approve an order on reconsideration of rules it adopted in 2020. The order was a response to three petitions from industry seeking changes to the rules and how they are applied to satellite operators."
"Asteroids, comets, meteors, and meteorites. What are they, and how can we tell them apart? The path through the solar system is a rocky road. Asteroids, comets, Kuiper Belt Objects – all kinds of small bodies of rock, metal, and ice are in constant motion as they orbit the Sun. But what’s the difference between them, anyway? And why do these miniature worlds fascinate space explorers so much? The answer is profound: They may hold the keys to a better understanding of where we all come from."
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