Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 27, 2014

Posts in "Security"

November 26, 2014

Senate Cybersecurity Vote Not Likely in Lame Duck

Senate Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., has acknowledged that a Senate vote on her cybersecurity bill likely isn’t going to happen before the 113th Congress ends, according to a story (subscription) by CQ Roll Call’s Rob Margetta.

Margetta writes that the bill’s backers have been making “last-minute pitches” as the end of the 113th Congress nears, but the bill hasn’t moved in the Senate (It was marked up by the Intelligence panel back in July):

Authorization legislation has remained low on the priority list for years, even while Congress has pointed to cybersecurity as a priority for the nation. But the bill’s supporters are also fighting a perception that the bill’s tangled up in surveillance issues that may make it seem too complicated to be passed.

Leaders of the House Intelligence panel at a recent hearing tried to separate the issues of surveillance and cybersecurity, Margetta reports. The cybersecurity measures in both chambers deal with cyberthreat information sharing between the private sector and government.

Margetta writes:

But in a Congress where surveillance has been a buzzword for the past two years, and where members have constantly been hearing from companies that say they’re worried about losing customers angry about government intrusions, the idea of handing over any more data has run into resistance — even if the bill’s architects stress that they specifically don’t want to collect information on people.

November 19, 2014

Lynch, Unhappy With Postal Service Data Breach Response, Mulls Legislation

After a data breach affecting roughly 800,000 U.S. Postal Service employees was made public earlier this month, the ranking Democrat on a House Oversight & Government Affairs subcommittee signaled he was thinking about legislation that would require automatic disclosure.

Stephen F. Lynch, D-Mass. said at a Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service and the Census Subcommittee hearing on Wednesday that he was “disappointed” with the Postal Service’s response, arguing employees should have been notified earlier.

Employees should be notified as soon as it’s known that personally identifiable information has been compromised, Lynch said at the hearing.

Under the Postal Service’s plan, a U.S. government agency could have Social Security numbers of all its employees compromised, and it decides based on its own interests when they’ll be notified, he said.

“That doesn’t work,” he said.

“We gotta figure something out,” Lynch said in questioning Randy Miskanic, vice president of the U.S. Postal Service’s Secure Digital Solutions group. “Maybe it’s legislatively we need… mandate this, but you have to be more forthcoming with the people that you’re supposed to be protecting than you have been in this case.”

Full story

November 14, 2014

Weekly Wrapup: Net Neutrality, Surveillance Overhaul Legislation & Drones

Net neutrality, surveillance overhaul legislation and drones are in your weekly wrap-up.

Full story

November 10, 2014

Postal Service Network Breach Compromises Employee Data

Small USPS Truck 330x185 Postal Service Network Breach Compromises Employee Data

Courtesy of USPS

Data belonging to more than 800,000 United States Postal Service employees has been compromised in a computer network breach.

The breach, discovered in mid-September, is being investigated by the FBI. Remediation of the hack did not begin until this weekend, although planning began immediately, according to the agency.

“Acting too quickly could have caused more data to be compromised,” USPS spokesman David Partenheimer said in a statement.

Names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, addresses, dates of employment and other information are among the compromised data. According to the agency, employees at all levels were affected, from letter carries to the postmaster general.

However no customer credit card information from online purchases at or at post offices were exposed.

New security measures were implemented over the weekend to prevent future breaches, Partenheimer said. Enacting the new safeguards caused system outages and slowed the delivery of external email.

Notification of employees began on Monday. USPS is providing free credit-monitoring services for one year.

The Week Ahead: Net Neutrality, Cybersecurity and Lifeline

Congress returns for the lame duck session and events on net neutrality, cybersecurity and the Universal Service Fund’s Lifeline program are on tap this week.

Full story

November 3, 2014

The Week Ahead: Antitrust, Crypto-Currencies and Farming & Space Tech Transfer

Attention will be focused on the mid-term elections this week, but there are other events happening as well that cover issues including antitrust, crypto-currencies and farming and space tech transfer.

Full story

October 29, 2014

Social Engineering, Data Breaches & Top Execs

Unless major businesses realize that even top executives need training to understand that they could be targeted to be the “vector” for an attack, major data breaches will continue, a Justice Department official said Wednesday.

Jonathan J. Rusch, deputy chief for strategy and policy at the Justice Department’s fraud section, talked about social engineering at a panel discussion hosted by the Identity Theft Resource Center related to a new identity theft report from the group.

Full story

October 28, 2014

Data Breach Watchers See Conundrum in Data Breach Consumer Protection Measures

If it’s likely that consumers affected by data breaches don’t feel any direct harms from them, could that be having an effect on data security efforts amongst retailers? CQ Roll Call’s Rob Margetta reports  (subscription required) that data breach watchers see a conundrum in the laws and regulations designed to protect consumers in the event of data breaches, with industry filling in the gaps.

Margetta writes:

Breaches are serious – they cost millions and companies and consumers never know if stolen data might come back to bite them years afterward. Once data’s in the wild, there’s no telling how it can be used.

But the same measures that keep consumers protected also keep them complacent.

According to Margetta, while some in the financial sector contend that this public disconnect has led to a lack of scrutiny in data security, retailers say that’s not the case.

October 27, 2014

The Week Ahead: Yelp’s CEO, Cybersecurity & Identity Theft

Events on cybersecurity and identity theft are on tap this week and Yelp’s Jeremy Stoppelman stops by 1776.


The State Educational Technology Directors Association and the National Association of State Boards of Education host a day-long education technology event.


The U.S. Chamber of Commerce holds a day-long cybersecurity forum.

The Progressive Policy Institute hosts an event on wireless policy.


The Identity Theft Resource Center hosts an event related to a survey they’re releasing on the impacts of identity theft on victims.


Georgetown Law’s Center on Privacy & Technology hosts a day-long event on the Privacy Act and the 1974 amendments to the Freedom of Information Act.

1776 hosts a discussion with Jeremy Stoppelman, co-founder and chief executive officer of Yelp.

October 20, 2014

The Week Ahead: ‘Right to Be Forgotten,’ Net Neutrality and Cybersecurity

Events on the “right to be forgotten,” net neutrality are cybersecurity are on tap for this week.


Georgetown University holds a panel event on the “right to be forgotten.”


FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai holds a net neutrality forum at Texas A&M University.


The Atlantic Council hosts an event on the current landscape of cyber threats.

Microsoft hosts a panel discussion on cybersecurity and state and local governments.

The Brookings Institution holds a panel discussion on the 1934 Communications Act.


The George Washington University Law School holds an event on net neutrality and global Internet freedom.

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