House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and 12 other members of Congress asked Federal Trade Commission Chairman Joseph Simons in an Aug. 24 letter to investigate whether Verizon Communications violated Federal law when it allegedly “throttled” the data service speeds of the Santa Clara, Calif., Fire Department earlier this month […]

Kirstjen Nielsen DHS

Members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce called on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to conduct biennial reviews and provide dedicated funding to the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) program after finding erratic contracts and little planning documentation. The request was made via a letter to DHS Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen on Monday.






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Congress Capitol Senate House

Multiple IT projects gained funding as the Senate passed H.R. 6157, the FY 2019 minibus appropriations bill for the departments of Defense, Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education on Aug. 23. The bill passed the Senate on an 85-7 vote.  The House approved its version of the legislation on June 28, setting up a House-Senate conference committee to reconcile differences in the two bills.  






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Ron Wyden Oregon

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions in an Aug. 21 letter to update the Justice Department’s (DoJ) guidance on use of cell-site simulator technologies–sometimes referred to as Stingray devices–to take into account information from a manufacturer that use of the devices may completely disrupt communications of targeted phones including emergency 911 calls and other features.  






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Senator Marco Rubio
Capital, House of Representatives, Congress, Senate

With just 75 days to go until the 2018 midterm elections and amid mounting pressure for legislative action to boost election security, the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration postponed today’s scheduled business meeting on the Secure Elections Act, which would help state and local governments apply for Federal grants to modernize their election systems and receive relevant cyber threat information.






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Thomas Fanning, chief executive officer of Atlanta-based electric utility holding company Southern Co. and a key player in developing private-sector cybersecurity policy, said today at a Senate subcommittee hearing that he has begun to have interactions with senior Federal government military leaders about capabilities to “hack back” at cyber attackers, but emphasized he believes that those types of retaliatory capabilities need to remain in the hands of the military rather than become a corporate function.






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Election security, voting, midterms 2018

The Secure Elections Act, S. 2593, which is expected to be marked up by the Senate Rules Committee later this month, has been freshly amended to require states to have a cyber response and communication plan in place as a precondition to receiving Federal grants to support election security and election technology modernization.






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Ajit Pai, FCC Commisioner

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai today defended his year-long public insistence that the FCC was the victim of a distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attack which impacted its electronic comment filing system during the agency’s net neutrality rulemaking proceeding last year, but admitted to having his own doubts about the cause of the system problem.






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Lisa Murkowski

While members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee today appeared to be generally positive toward the nomination of Lane Genatowski to be the director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) at the Department of Energy, they also had some sharp questions for the nominee over his stated support for President Trumps’ plan to get rid of the organization.  






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Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., has requested that the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division investigate “whether the uses of facial recognition technology – as currently utilized – by law enforcement agencies are in violation of civil rights protections.”  In a letter to assistant attorney general John Gore yesterday, Cleaver noted the potential benefits of facial […] […]

Ajit Pai

In advance of his appearance before the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee scheduled for tomorrow, four House Democrats hammered Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai over statements he made in 2017 that the FCC was a victim of a distributed-denial-of-service (DDOS) attack which impacted its electronic comment filing system during the agency’s net neutrality rulemaking proceeding last year.






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China-based communications equipment maker Huawei Technologies said in a statement late Monday that the ban on Federal government use of the company’s products contained in the FY2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) signed by President Trump this week won’t do anything to improve supply chain security.






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Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., is pressing major electric utility companies for details about whether and when their systems have been penetrated by Russian-affiliated hackers, and at the same time is querying several Federal agencies about what they are doing to help utilities recognize and prevent attempts to break into their networks and control systems.






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The U.S. Cyber Command (Cybercom) and the National Security Agency have joined the effort to protect the integrity of this year’s midterm elections, which are occurring under the shadow of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election and warnings from U.S. intelligence agencies that 2018 is seeing more of the same.






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Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., wants to understand what the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has learned from Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Confirmation (DMARC) reports about cyber criminals using email to impersonate Federal agencies.






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MeriTalk today announced the winners of its inaugural FITARA Awards program, recognizing six Federal agencies who have made tremendous strides in modernizing their IT environments and one congressional leader who has worked tirelessly to promote the reform of IT acquisitions and adoption of cyber best practices.






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