elections, election security, voting

A bipartisan group of three senators–Sens. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Ben Cardin, D-Md.–last week introduced Protect Our Elections Act, which aims “to amend the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to require states to take steps to ensure domestic ownership and control of election service providers.” […]

Cybersecurity flag

Senators Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., asked the chief executive officer of Super Micro Computer in an Oct. 9 letter whether the company has ever found evidence of tampering of components or firmware that targeted the company’s products, among other questions stemming from a Bloomberg Businessweek article reporting that chips made by a Chinese firm and allegedly used by numerous U.S. companies and government agencies were engineered to enable backdoor data transmissions to China. 






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Blockchain link

Blockchain technology, along with cryptocurrencies based on that technology, received decidedly mixed views at a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee Thursday where witnesses debated the usefulness of blockchain to institutions like banks and government agencies, and shared divergent views on whether the technology has promising potential use cases.






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Google HQ

Three Senate Democrats asked Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairman Joseph Simons in an Oct. 10 letter to open an investigation into Google’s disclosure earlier this week that it discovered and patched in March a vulnerability in its Google+ social media platform that may have exposed profile data on up to 500,000 accounts, but did not inform users of the vulnerability in a timely way.






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Congress Capitol Senate House

The chairmen of the House Intelligence and Oversight and Government Reform committees have asked for classified briefings from top U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies on a recent Bloomberg Businessweek report that Chinese hackers infiltrated numerous U.S. companies and government agencies through a supply-chain hardware hack involving implantation in network equipment of a chip that can route data back to China.






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data privacy, people, personal data, binary

The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee heard testimony today detailing the workings of data privacy laws in Europe and California–specifically the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)–amid a growing groundswell for Congress to work on a national data privacy law for the U.S.






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Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., said he is eyeing the post-midterm election “lame duck” period for further movement through Congress of his 21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act (IDEA) bill that would empower Federal agency CTOs and CIOs to modernize and improve their websites and citizen services.






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Apple

Apple told congressional leaders in a letter dated today that a story last week by Bloomberg Businessweek–reporting that chips made by a Chinese firm and used in Apple equipment were engineered to enable backdoor data transmissions to China–is “not true.”






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Washington DC capitol federal government-min

The Senate passed the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Act (CISA Act) on Wednesday by unanimous consent but included some amendments, setting up a few remaining steps before the bill reaches President Trump’s desk.






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quantum computing AI min

Congress is getting behind the push to develop artificial intelligence technologies and policies with recent calls for research and development that may overlap efforts already underway. It also reflects the kind of “whole of country” approach that some leaders have said is necessary to keep up with the Chinese.






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broadband 5g -min

A group of 24 technology organizations banded together to urge the Senate to pass S. 3157, the STREAMLINE Small Cell Deployment Act. In a letter released today, the group said the legislation “will modernize wireless infrastructure regulations for next-generation 5G wireless networks” and will unlock “significant consumer and economic benefits.”






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social-security-administration (1)-min
Social Security Administration

The Social Security Administration’s (SSA) IT modernization efforts won praise from the agency’s inspector general and the Government Accountability Office at a House hearing on Sept. 27, but drew a more mixed review from members of the House Ways and Means Committee’s Social Security Subcommittee.






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Congress Capitol Senate House

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Thursday voted to approve bills that would elevate the role of the Federal CIO, and create a series of minimum functionality and security requirements for all Federal government agency public-facing websites and digital services.






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Karen Evans

The Department of Energy’s new office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER) has already begun work to provide support to the nation’s energy grid and critical infrastructure cybersecurity, and the head of the new office appeared in front of the House Energy and Commerce Committee Thursday to discuss the role of CESER within DoE.






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Rep Will Hurd, R-Texas, chairman of the House IT subcommittee, questioned today whether Google’s decision in June to not renew a contract with the Defense Department for development of artificial intelligence technologies was influenced by what the congressman characterized as possible “influence operations” by the Chinese government.






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Capital, House of Representatives, Congress, Senate

With artificial intelligence (AI) the topic du jour on Capitol Hill, Sens. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii; Cory Gardner, R-Colo.; Rob Portman, R-Ohio; and Kamala Harris, D-Calif., on Wednesday introduced the Artificial Intelligence in Government Act that would establish a Federal AI advisory board that aims to chart paths forward in the technology’s development.






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Congress Capitol Senate House

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Wednesday voted to approve a handful of bills that place a strong emphasis on cybersecurity, IT supply chain security, and the enhancement of digital citizen services.






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NIST
Congress Capitol Senate House

A gaggle of tech and communications sector bellwethers presented a united front today at a Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee hearing on data privacy and protection issues, saying they support a bill to address those issues but sharing strong preferences for federal legislation that would preempt state law and appoint the Federal Trade Commission as the chief watchdog.






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