elections, election security, voting

In today’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, the Committee dug into what it called “China’s non-traditional espionage against the United States.” During the hearing, senators heard from cybersecurity, and intelligence experts about China’s attempts to use cybersecurity attacks and intellectual property theft to advance its global standing.






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Apple

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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Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., introduced two pieces of legislation on Tuesday designed to improve cybercrime prevention and strengthen U.S. election infrastructure.






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Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., said that he is concerned about the Trump administration’s widespread adoption of the NIST Cybersecurity Framework. “The NIST Framework has never been adequately validated,” he said, adding that he wonders whether agencies have accepted it because it’s effective or because “compliance demands so little effort.”






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Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., told Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Oct. 18 that he has found it impossible to talk to anyone from the Department of Justice about cybersecurity legislation. Whitehouse said during a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee that intelligence officials have told the committee that the election systems could be hacked by foreign actors. Whitehouse is interested in working with different agencies to develop legislation on cybersecurity.






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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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Ransomware attacks, which the FBI estimated could cost the United States $1 billion this year, have “become a real plague on the Internet,” according to Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I. As these attacks are becoming more sophisticated and destructive, the Senate Committee on the Judiciary addressed whether law enforcement has the right tools to foil them.






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