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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Senators in hearings this week denounced Equifax’s handling of the data breach that is now estimated to have affected 145 million Americans. Equifax Chairman and former CEO Richard Smith testified before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs on Oct. 4.

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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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Industry experts told Congress on Oct. 3 that regulations are necessary to secure the Internet of Things. “Is the industry doing enough to ensure the security of IoT devices?” Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., asked at the IT Subcommittee hearing on the Cybersecurity of IoT.

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Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, called for the administration to nominate more permanent agency chief information officers. “I’m worried that we don’t want to stall some of the progress that we’ve achieved over the last couple of years,” Hurd said.

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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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Sens. John Thune, R-S.D., and Gary Peters, D-Mich., plan to announce legislation that would pave the way for increased innovation in self-driving vehicle technologies. “Ultimately, we expect adoption of self-driving vehicle technologies will save lives, improve mobility for people with disabilities, and create new jobs,” they said in a statement.

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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 State Department’s plan to fold the cyber office and position of cybersecurity coordinator into the bureau of business and economic affairs is just the beginning of a plan to elevate cybersecurity concerns within the department, according to Department of State Deputy Secretary John Sullivan.

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health

Reps. Greg Walden, R-Ore., and Tim Murphy, R-Pa., sent a letter requesting that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) attend a briefing with the Energy and Commerce committee on pharmaceutical companies affected by malware, such as the recent NotPetya malware’s impact on pharmaceutical company Merck.

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Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., reintroduced legislation this week that would require companies that experience a breach to notify affected individuals within 30 days of the breach’s discovery and that they coordinate with the Federal Trade Commission to do so.

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The Modernizing Government Technology Act passed the Senate as a part of the Manager’s Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act on Sept. 18. “By incentivizing the transition to modern technology, we will allow the government to harness cutting-edge technologies, use each dollar more efficiently, strengthen our digital infrastructure and improve government services for everyone,” said Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, the bill’s author.

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As Federal agencies and the Office of Management and Budget work to develop reorganization plans as part of a March executive order, Congress needs to improve its oversight of those agencies, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp D-N.D., said at a Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee hearing.

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Sens. Ed Markey, D-Mass, Richard Blumenthal D-Conn., Sheldon Whitehouse D-R.I., and Al Franken D-Minn., introduced a bill on Sept. 14 to require accountability and transparency for credit report companies that are collecting and selling personal information about consumers. The legislation follows the Equifax breach, which affected 143 million Americans.

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Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, said that he expects his Modernizing Government Technology Act to pass the Senate within the next week as an add-on to the Senate’s 2018 National Defense Authorization Act deliberations. “Buying IT goods and services in the Federal government is pretty silly,” said Hurd, criticizing the fact that agencies must use all of their IT funding for the year or risk losing it. “That is an insane way to purchase things to defend our digital infrastructure,”

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The government needs to get tougher on financial institutions that endanger consumer data, as occurred in the recent Equifax breach, according to testimony at a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing.

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Federal agencies are expected to submit their budget requests to Congress in September, detailing the funding they’ll need to meet their missions for fiscal year 2018. One trend that Congress can expect to see is requests for AI applications to automate cybersecurity processes, according to Thomas Jones, Federal systems engineer at Bay Dynamics.

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After the credit monitoring company Equifax announced that it had detected a data breach affecting potentially 143 million U.S. consumers, Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., is calling for a House Judiciary Committee hearing to investigate the breach.

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The entire Federal government is feeling the pains of cyber workforce shortages. But the Department of Homeland Security, which is tasked with protecting national security without the cool factor of the FBI and National Security Agency, hurts more than most, according to testimony at a House Homeland Security Committee hearing on Sept. 7.

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The Government Accountability Office found that the Federal Aviation Administration’s NextGen program was successful in enhancing surface traffic operations at 39 of the 40 busiest airports in the United States.

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The designation of the nation’s election systems as critical infrastructure will not infringe upon state and local authority to run elections. In a recent memo to Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Members, Ranking Member Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., relayed communications from the Department of Homeland Security that reiterated that fact.

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A Senate bill introduced on Aug. 1 not only would establish security requirements for Internet of Things (IoT) devices purchased by the government, but also let researchers look for critical security flaws through vulnerability disclosure policies.

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The Government Accountability Office evaluated the advantages and disadvantages of the National Security Agency and Cyber Command’s dual-hat leadership system and found that the system causes tension between the two agencies due to competing interests.

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Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., sent a letter to White House Counsel Don McGahn asking for the Trump administration’s rationale in publishing the emails sent by many citizens to critique the President’s Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, many of which contained sensitive personal information.

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Through its series of summer camps and competitions, the Air Force Association’s CyberPatriot program is aiming to expand the cybersecurity workforce for both the public and private sector. “What they have learned is if they wait until someone is a college graduate, it’s too late, if they wait until they’re in college, it’s too late,” said CyberPatriot National Commissioner Bernie Skoch.

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