technology

Court Documents Detail Doxxing of Senate Republicans
Jackson Cosko was reportedly confronted by staffers in Hassan’s office after he used a computer there

Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee Orrin Hatch, left, and Mike Lee are among those that Jackson A. Cosko is accused of allegedly posting their personal information online. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Jackson A. Cosko illegally used a computer in the office of Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan and and threatened a Hassan staffer later that day, court documents show. He allegedly is behind the posted personal information about Republican senators on their Wikipedia pages.

The case against Cosko is detailed in an affidavit submitted in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that includes details of how Cosko allegedly posted cell phone numbers and home addresses of the senators onto the web from House and Senate computer networks.

In Trade Pact, Trump Sees Trap for Democrats and Warning to China
Kudlow: If Democrats ‘want to help working folks, they’ll go with this deal’

President Donald Trump, with Senate candidate Rep. Marsha Blackburn, at a campaign rally Monday night in Johnson City, Tenn. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

One word stood out this week as President Donald Trump’s top trade negotiator, Robert Lighthizer, described an updated North American trade pact: “progressive.”

Also notable during a half-hour discussion about the agreement Lighthizer held with a group of reporters: He was complimentary of the Obama administration’s Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact with Asian countries from which Trump withdrew. He even admitted the new North American agreement is “built on” many aspects of TPP.

China Will Close Artificial Intelligence Gap by End of 2018, Lawmakers Warn
More spending on self-driving car research, predictive technology, will help U.S. compete, new report says

Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, released a report encouraging  Congress to increase spending on artificial intelligence technology. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Artificial intelligence technologies are capable of disrupting every aspect of society and the United States must do more to maintain leadership in the area, the leaders of a House panel said in a report released Tuesday.

Artificial intelligence “has the potential to disrupt every sector of society in both anticipated and unanticipated ways,” according to a report authored by Reps. Will Hurd of Texas and Robin Kelly of Illinois, the chairman and top Democrat of the House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee on information technology. “In light of that potential for disruption, it’s critical that the federal government address the different challenges posed by AI, including its current and future applications.”

Republicans Push Back Against States Seen as Too Pro-Regulation
GOP favors independence by state governments unless they don’t like a state’s decision

Chairman John Barrasso of Wyoming and ranking Democrat Tom Carper of Delaware talk before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works hears from acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler in August. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler appeared before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in early August, the energy and environment community was watching.

It was Wheeler’s first appearance since his predecessor, Scott Pruitt, resigned after months of ethical, spending and personnel scandals. Washington was eager to see how Wheeler would right the agency.

Romanian Cyberattack Targeted Security Cameras Ahead of Inauguration
Eveline Cismaru pleaded guilty to wire and computer fraud

A Romanian woman pleaded guilty to a cyberattack on surveillance cameras ahead of the 2017 inauguration. (Matt Rhodes for CQ Roll Call)

A Romanian woman pleaded guilty in connection with a cyberattack against the D.C. police department that disabled two-thirds of the outdoor surveillance cameras operated by Metropolitan Police Department, just days before the 2017 Presidential Inauguration.

Eveline Cismaru, a Romanian citizen, pleaded guilty Thursday to federal charges related to her role in the cyberattack.

Lawmakers Eye Cyber Bounties to Fix Bugs in Federal Networks
House panel approves Senate bill to set up pilot program at DHS

The House Homeland Security Committee approved a Senate bill last week that would set up a bug bounty program at the Department of Homeland Security. Above, Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, and ranking member Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., at a 2014 hearing. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lawmakers last week moved closer to mandating that the Department of Homeland Security start a bug bounty program that will pay computer security researchers to spot weaknesses in DHS’s computer networks. That requirement would bring the department in line with other U.S. agencies with similar cybersecurity programs.

The House Homeland Security Committee on Thursday by unanimous consent approved a Senate bill that would set up a pilot program at the department. The Senate passed the bill on April 17. The Pentagon, the IRS and the General Services Administration already operate such programs, and lawmakers have proposed legislation that would launch similar efforts at the departments of State and Treasury.

Cybersecurity Background Key for New Information Officer at GPO
Sam Musa comes at a time of heightened scrutiny across government for cybersecurity

Sam Musa will take the helm at the Government Publishing Office as chief information officer. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Government Publishing Office, the agency that processes and publishes information from the federal government, has named a new chief information officer. Sam Musa, a longtime federal IT and cybersecurity expert, will be the new CIO for the agency.

“Sam brings a wealth of experience working in Federal Government IT and cybersecurity to GPO,” said acting GPO Deputy Director Herbert H. Jackson, Jr. “I look forward to his ideas of strengthening the agency’s IT operations, which will enhance our service to Congress, Federal agencies and the public.”

They’re Crying in the Cyber Wilderness
Attacking American institutions has become a lot simpler since 9/11

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats spent the summer warning that a democracy-withering cyberattack is “just one click of the keyboard away.” Is anyone listening? (Alex Wong/Getty Images file photo)

Seventeen summers ago, 19 men had to make their way physically into the country, train to fly planes while avoiding scrutiny, and then crash them into buildings in order to pull off a devastating attack on a superpower.

In the years since then, attacking the United States and its institutions has become a lot simpler: a few strokes on a keyboard can now disrupt elections or shut off a power grid.

Summer Renovations Yield New House Voting System
While chamber was away, new voting infrastructure went up

New voting machines and voting cards debuted in the House this week. Former Speaker John A. Boehner holds his old one up a few years ago. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House lawmakers had new hardware to try out Tuesday night — new voting cards and voting machines.

Over the August recess the Office of the House Clerk installed new voting machines in the House chamber for tallying roll call votes. Members descended on the Speaker’s Lobby  to pick up their new cards. 

Republicans Have Questions for Twitter, and They’re Not About Election Meddling
When tech execs head to the Hill on Wednesday, Walden wants to talk about censorship

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, and Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO, arrive to testify before a Senate hearing on Wednesday on the influence of foreign operations on social media. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The world’s largest social media companies are due Wednesday on Capitol Hill as lawmakers grapple with how to protect American voters from foreign influence operations and deal with charges that conservative views are being censored online.

First some top brass — Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey — will face questions from the Senate Intelligence panel, which is investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election. While the panel had also invited Google co-founder and Alphabet CEO Larry Page, the search engine giant decided to send its chief legal officer instead.