A group of eight House Democrats representing districts in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia urged House and Senate leaders in a letter dated today to back an FY2019 pay increase of at least 1.9 percent for Federal workers–the amount included in legislation already approved by the Senate–following President Trump’s declaration last week that he would freeze Federal civilian pay for calendar-year 2019.   […]

Capital, House of Representatives, Congress, Senate
DHS Homeland Security

Along with a slew of IT-related bills concerning the Department of Homeland Security and addressing supply chain risk and cyber monitoring, the House of Representatives also voted on Tuesday night to approve the establishment of a chief data officer (CDO) at DHS.






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supply chain risk management process automation

The House of Representatives on Tuesday agreed by voice vote to approve HR 6430, the Securing the Homeland Security Supply Chain Act of 2018, which grants the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary authority to exclude certain contractors from doing business with the Federal government to address “urgent national security interests” and curb supply chain risks.






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John Ratcliffe

The House of Representatives today approved by voice vote HR 6443, the Advancing Cybersecurity Diagnostics and Mitigation Act, which would codify the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) Program into law.






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Senator Dan Sullivan Sen. Arkansas

A pair of U.S. senators wrote to the heads of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on Friday, imploring them to work with social media companies to root out election interference on their platforms and asking the agency heads for more information on the steps they’ve already taken to do so.






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Google HQ

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, chairman of the Senate Republican High-Tech Task Force, asked Federal Trade Commission Chairman Joseph Simons to take a fresh look at the competitive impacts of Google’s search and digital advertising practices.






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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






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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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