Shutdown, Surveillance Deadlines Loom Over Congress

Colin Dewar/Shutterstock.com

A pair of lawmakers also proposed a pay raise for federal employees.

Three-day weekends always come with a price, which for Congress means figuring out how to fund the government and renew a controversial surveillance power before they both expire Jan. 19. So two big issues need to be resolved in four working days.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Thursday told lawmakers to expect to vote on another short-term spending measure this week—the fourth since September. Lawmakers are still working out how to raise spending caps, avoid sequestration kicking in and figure out thornier immigration issues.

Senate Races Deadline on Surveillance Renewal

All eyes—prying and otherwise—will turn to the Senate this week, where lawmakers are racing to reauthorize a controversial internet surveillance authority before it expires Friday.

The House passed its version of the bill to renew Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Thursday over the complaints of civil libertarians. Those members wanted to add a strict warrant requirement before law enforcement could query the intelligence community’s database of 702-gathered information for investigations.

The House vote also came after President Donald Trump seemed to criticize the surveillance bill on Twitter before reversing himself just under two hours later. Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., have threatened to filibuster the Senate bill unless senators are allowed to debate adding a similar warrant requirement.

Time for a Raise

Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, and Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., reintroduced House and Senate versions of the Federal Adjustment of Income Rates Act, which would give federal employees a 3 percent pay hike in 2019.

Signed into Law

The president Wednesday signed the Connected Government Act into law, requiring new and redesigned federal websites to be mobile friendly and the INTERDICT Act, authorizing Customs and Border Protection to buy new screening tools to detect opioids being smuggling into the country and personnel to interpret the data the devices collect.

Goodbye and Thanks for All the Fish

After 18 years, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif, said he wouldn’t run for re-election Wednesday. The former House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman will likely be remembered for partisan hearings but he also leaves a lasting impact on government technology through his work on FITARA and the DATA Act. Here’s a look at his tech legacy.

Another Californian, House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif., also announced plans to retire after this Congress last week. Royce co-sponsored a bill that would require the State Department to re-open its recently shuttered cyber coordinator’s office, which has become a model for other nations.

A Win for Zero Day Transparency

A bill requiring the White House to report how the government decides whether to disclose software bugs or keep them secret passed the House Tuesday. The bill mirrors a White House plan to increase the transparency of its “vulnerability equities process” but was introduced before the plan.

As a general rule, the government alerts industry about roughly 90 percent of the software bugs it discovers and holds onto the remaining 10 percent to use them to spy on U.S. adversaries. The government privileges disclosure when bugs are most likely to be used to hack Americans, officials have said.

The $21 Billion Breach

Breached companies could be paying billions of dollars in fines under legislation introduced Wednesday by Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. Under the Data Breach Prevention and Compensation Act, the credit rating agency Equifax would have been on the hook for between $14 and $21 billion for its breach, which compromised the personal data of more than 140 million Americans.

Hurd on the Slopes

One of Congress’ cyber-iest members, Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, will be one of three co-chairs of an Aspen Institute forum focused on cybersecurity, the congressman’s office announced this week. Other co-chairs are IBM CEO Ginni Rometty and President Barack Obama’s Homeland Security Adviser Lisa Monaco.

Coming Up This Week

On Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold an oversight hearing with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen that could touch on the department’s cybersecurity responsibilities.

The House Homeland Security Committee will dig into the Homeland Security Department’s continuous diagnostics and mitigation program during a Wednesday hearing. The Senate Commerce Committee will examine terrorist use of social media that same day, focusing on whether tech companies have done enough to combat the problem.

The Senate Intelligence Committee will hold a confirmation hearing that day for Michael Atkinson to be inspector general of the Intelligence Community and Jason Klitenic to be general counsel in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

On Thursday, House Energy and Commerce will explore how the internet of things is affecting manufacturing and innovation.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.