Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., sent a letter on Sept. 21 to the inspector generals of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Defense (DoD), and Department of Justice (DOJ), requesting that they investigate the alleged warrantless data gathering of American citizens’ online search histories.

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Considering the nearly three-year COVID-19 pandemic that has had a chokehold on the United States and exposed vulnerabilities in the nation’s ability to operate digitally, one government watchdog is urging Federal officials to overcome their challenges in how they manage public health data.

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Senate hearing Congressional-min

The Senate on Thursday confirmed Dr. Arati Prabhakar’s nomination as the next director for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) in a 56-40 vote, making her the first woman and person of color to serve in the position.

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military healthcare, veterans healthcare
cyber threat
General Services Administration GSA
USPS Postal Service

The General Services Administration (GSA) is planning to facilitate a research study on the impact different demographic features have on remote identity proofing technologies – like facial recognition.

[…]

Members of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies expressed their frustrations with the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Electronic Health Records Modernization (EHRM) program today and urged the agency to repair the program one lawmaker called a “train wreck.”

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The Fifth Annual Service to the Citizen Awards program honored five Federal government and private sector leaders on Sept. 16 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C., for driving positive change in the delivery of government services to benefit all citizens.

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FCC

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has faced acquisition management problems – placing it on the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) High-Risk List – but agency officials on Sept. 20 said they are looking to chart a new course in VA acquisition, one that may require an enterprise-wide approach.

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FITARA

Have you ever thought it would be so much easier to turn the TV on without lifting a finger or even uttering a few words? In times when the remote is buried deep in the couch, brain-computer interfaces (BCI) will come in handy.

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cybersecurity

The National Security Agency (NSA) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) have published a report that details some of the security concerns of Open Radio Access Network (Open RAN), as well as some of the ways to mitigate such concerns.

[…]

Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., reintroduced the Chai Suthammanont Remembrance Act for the third time in hopes that the bill designed to protect Federal employees during health emergencies will finally pass the Senate.

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elections, election security, voting

The Energy Department’s (DoE) Pamela Isom stepped down from her role as director of the Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Technology Office on Sept. 9, a DoE spokesperson confirmed to MeriTalk.

[…]

Congress should shore up the role of the Federal chief information officer (CIO) and consider enshrining the position into law to help improve the government’s often troubled management of IT, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) says in a new report.

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The White House has released a new framework that encompasses a plethora of findings on digital assets, which includes stopping illegal uses of it, climate change effects, as well as how Federal agencies should move forward with regulations and guidelines.

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Cybersecurity

The Justice Department’s (DoJ) Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) component expect to complete a major cloud-based system overhaul over the next year, according to DEA Chief Information Officer (CIO) Nick Ward.

[…]

NIH
ransomware

The Federal government’s Joint Ransomware Task Force (JRTF) kicked off its inaugural meeting with a discussion of new initiatives to collaborate with state, local, tribal, and territorial entities to protect against ransomware intrusions and disrupt malicious actors, according to a September 14 press release from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).

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