Jack Corrigan

Inside GAO’s Plan to Make Congress More Tech-Savvy

As lawmakers prepare to weigh in on high-profile tech issues like artificial intelligence, 5G and online privacy, the Government Accountability Office wants to make sure they know what they’re doing.  On March 20, GAO submitted a letter to Congress outlining its vision for the group. The plan, which has not yet been made public, will include specifics on the size and scope of the office.

House Unanimously Passes Bill to Elevate the Federal CIO

The House unanimously approved the Federail CIO Authorization Act, a bill that would elevate the federal chief information officer within the White House chain of command. The bill would make the position a direct report to the Office of Management and Budget director. It would also designate both the federal CIO and federal chief information security officer as presidentially appointed positions. The legislation still has no Senate sponsor.  “Americans need to know that we are doing everything we can to keep their most precious information safe,” said bill co-sponsor Rep Will Hurd (R-TX).

President Trumps signs OPEN Government Data Act into law

President Donald Trump signed the OPEN Government Data Act into law. The transparency measure was tucked inside a larger bill to support evidence-based policymaking. The law requires agencies to release all non-sensitive data to the public in a format that allows for easy data analysis and largely prohibits them from restricting how that information can be used. It also mandates the Office of Management and Budget help agencies stand up “comprehensive data inventor[ies]” that include metadata on every dataset they publish.

Defense Information Systems Agency outlines plans to wall off agency from public internet

The Defense Department is giving industry more time to come up with plans to quarantine the agency’s internal networks using the cloud. The Defense Information Systems Agency extended the deadline for vendors to submit white papers on how to build a cloud-based system that cuts off agency networks from the public web while still allowing employees to access the internet. The tech would close many of the digital doorways hackers and other online bad actors use to attack the Department of Defense Information Network, or DODIN, according to the solicitation.

House Passes IDEA Act, a Bill to Improve Government’s Digital Services

The House passed by bipartisan voice vote the 21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act, or 21st Century IDEA, which would require agencies to improve online customer experience by making new websites more user-friendly. The bill ultimately aims to make citizens less reliant on paper processes when interacting with federal agencies. The bill would set minimum accessibility, searchability and security standards for all new government websites, and require agencies to adopt web analytics tools to constantly improve sites’ functionality.

China is Using Tech to ‘Reset the Global Balance of Power,’ Experts Tell Congress

The government needs to diversify and strengthen its efforts to stop China from co-opting the US innovation economy to support its own global ambitions, industry experts told the House Oversight IT Subcommittee on Sept 26.  And tariffs probably aren’t the best way to do it, they said. “For more than 40 years, the US has encouraged China to develop its own economy and take its place alongside the US as a central and responsible player on the world stage,” said House Oversight IT subcommittee Chairman Will Hurd (R-TX). “China does not want to join us, they want to replace us.

The House is Shuttling Through Tech and Cyber Bills but the Senate's Behind

The House passed a slew of tech and cyber bills the week of Sept 3, ranging from imposing automatic sanctions on foreign hackers to creating a new chief data officer position at the Homeland Security Department. With a tight legislative calendar before this Congress turns into a pumpkin in January, however, the Senate will have to work fast if any of those bills are going to become law.

White House Wants Regulators to Keep Hands Off Tech Industry

The White House’s top tech adviser redoubled the Trump administration’s commitment to deregulate the tech sector and scorned countries that seek to restrict the information flowing across their borders. Michael Kratsios, the deputy U.S. chief technology officer within the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, outlined the administration’s strategy for spurring the growth of emerging technologies. The plan echoes the president’s overall laissez-faire approach to economic policy while calling for stronger intellectual property protections on technologies developed in the US.

FEC Gets the Ball Rolling on Online Political Ads Rules

The Federal Election Commission wants the public to weigh in on proposals that would shed light on the people buying political ads on Facebook, Google and other online platforms. The commission unanimously voted to release two proposals that would expand disclosure requirements for internet political ads for public comment. The new regulations—the first update to online political advertising rules since 2006–would require web platforms to disclose who paid for any “express advocacy” ads, which call on viewers to vote for or against a specific candidate.