As the deadline to renew the National Security Agency’s surveillance powers looms, proposed bills and speculations of bills drive the conversation on national security versus privacy. Senate Republicans led by Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., proposed a bill in June to completely renew Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act without any changes or sunset provision. Section 702, which expires at the end of the year, allows the NSA to collect data from foreign nationals without obtaining a warrant. […]

The Supreme Court announced Oct. 16 that it will hear a case on data privacy that relates to Microsoft’s data centers in Ireland. The Department of Justice filed a petition last year requesting an en banc rehearing of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals case, which sided in favor of Microsoft that American service providers are not required to honor warrants seeking data outside the United States.






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The FBI needs access to encrypted files in order to protect the nation against cyber crime, according to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. “Encryption is essential,” Rosenstein said “It is a foundational element of data security and authentication. It is central to the growth and flourishing of the digital economy. We in law enforcement have no desire to undermine encryption. But ‘warrant-proof’ encryption poses a serious problem.”






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The U.S. Government Publishing Office named Tracee Boxley its new chief information officer on Oct 5. Boxley served as acting CIO since November 2016, where she led the IT department’s modernization of technology infrastructure, completed the migration of several legacy systems, and strengthened cybersecurity technology.






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A bipartisan group of senators proposed legislation to extend certain provisions in the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act. The extension would add two years to agencies’ data center consolidation efforts. The bill is the same as the FITARA Extension amendment that was adopted by the House of Representatives in July.






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Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, said that he plans to track the IT modernization working capital fund, which will come from his Modernization Government Technology Act, on the FITARA scorecard.






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Government doesn’t take the dangers of metadata security seriously enough, members of industry said at an Institute for Critical Infrastructure event on Sept. 26. They cited the passage of SJ 34, which reduced regulations on Internet service providers’ use of metadata generated by their customers.






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The CIO Council is hosting a governmentwide cybersecurity hiring event Nov. 6-7. The Federal government is seeking information technology and cybersecurity professionals to fill hundreds of positions needed to modernize legacy IT and strengthen the cybersecurity of Federal networks and critical infrastructure.






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