Congress wants the Defense Department (DoD) to elaborate on its growing interest is blockchain technology, the secure digital ledger system that can be applied not only to protect financial transactions, but also many other operations such as defending against cyberattacks, protecting logistics supply chains, and securing communications with aircraft and satellites. […]

On Thursday, the Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) Act, championed by Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, was approved in both the House and Senate. Meaning, significant overhaul and modernization of government technology is just one presidential signature away from being reality.






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Yesterday, the House Foreign Affairs Committee passed the Cyber Diplomacy Act, clearing the path for a new cyber ambassador. If signed into law, the act would establish an Office of Cyber Issues within the State Department and give the office’s head the status and rank of an ambassador.






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The Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) Act, spearheaded by Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, made it through conference proceedings as an amendment to the $700 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), according to reports from the Hill.






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President Donald Trump signed the Providing Resources, Officers, and Technology to Eradicate Cyber Threats to (PROTECT) Our Children Act of 2017, which reauthorizes the National Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program through 2022.






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Progress is being made to implement the 21st Century Cures Act, signed into law in December 2016, but improvements are still needed to better interoperability, information blocking, and clinician administrative work, according to testimony at a Senate Committee on Health, Education Labor, and Pensions hearing.






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Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, is working on the text of his bill to create the Cyber National Guard, a scholarship program that will help train students for cybersecurity jobs in the Federal government. Students who apply for the Cyber National Guard would receive scholarship money for cybersecurity training programs. Once the students graduate, they would spend the same number of years working for a Federal agency as they did receiving scholarship money to attend school.






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The Federal government is finding new ways to make Federal spending data more transparent to citizens by launching the Treasury Department’s Data Lab, and considering a bill that would add open data requirements to Federal grants.






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The Startup Act reintroduced in the Senate would grant more visas to immigrants in the STEM field. Among other things, it would create a new limited STEM visa so that 50,000 U.S.-educated foreign students who graduate with a master’s or Ph.D. in science, technology, engineering or mathematics can receive a green card and stay in the United States.






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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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