Government Security


iowa judicial branch

Security Testers Charged With Breaking Into Iowa Courthouses Cleared Of All Criminal Charges

The two men, who worked for Coalfire Labs, were caught up in a miscommunication between local law enforcement and the Iowa judicial branch, which hired the security firm to conduct testing.

TSA ID checkpoint

TSA Breaks Record For Highest Number of Firearms Detected at Airport Checkpoints

In 2019, TSA officers detected 4,432 firearms in carry-on baggage or on passengers, breaking the record set in 2018.

nist building

Federal Institute Releases Guidelines For How To Respond To Ransomware Attacks

The report, prepared by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, tested a variety of cybersecurity solutions in different IT environments to find out which methods were most effective in fighting ransomware.

white house

Coalition Pressures Government Agency To Recommend Ban on Government Use of Facial Recognition

Over 40 groups sent a letter to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board on Monday asking the agency to recommend that the executive branch put a moratorium on facial recognition.

campaign signs

Technology Companies Sign On To Offer Free or Discounted Cybersecurity Services to Campaigns

Seventeen companies, including Microsoft and Cloudflare, are offering security assistance to federal campaigns that often cannot afford the services themselves.

gun retailer

New Security, Video Surveillance Requirements For Illinois Gun Dealers Go Into Effect

The regulations originally required gun retailers to have a backup of all video surveillance feeds, but has since been changed.

maryland state house

Ransomware Possession Would Become A Crime In Maryland Under Proposed Legislation

Lawmakers are trying to deter would-be hackers from carrying out cyber attacks that have paralyzed companies, hospital systems and local governments, including Baltimore’s city government.

New Minnesota Law Allows Families to Install Internet-Connected Cameras In Senior Care Facilities

The new policies, meant to protect elder privacy, have also drawn criticism because of the requirement that families notify care facilities before they install the camera.



washington state capitol

Washington State Lawmakers Introduce Legislation Regulating Data Privacy, Facial Recognition

The data privacy bill would give consumers the right to access and delete data collected about them, while the facial recognition legislation would regulate government use of the software.

cambridge city hall

Cambridge Becomes Fourth Massachusetts Community To Ban Municipal Facial Recognition Use

A bill is currently before the state House that would ban government use of biometric technology until the legislature regulates how agencies can adopt it.

tree of life synagogue

Pennsylvania Opens Grant Program For Faith Based Organizations Seeking Security Upgrades

Created in the wake of a shooting at the Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue, the grant program opened its application process last week.

capitol hill

New Bill Would Update Children’s Online Privacy Law In Wake Of YouTube, TikTok Controversies

The bipartisan measure would allow parents to delete information collected by companies about their kids and raise the age of parental consent protection from 13 to 16.

new york subway

Group Sues New York City MTA For Records On Facial Recognition Use in Subway Station

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority maintains that it has not used facial recognition on riders, but privacy advocates want records related to the technology the agency purchased.

fbi seal

FBI Warns U.S. Companies About Recent Scourge of “Maze” Ransomware Attacks

The advisory warned businesses about cyber attacks featuring cryptocurrency sites and spam campaigns impersonating government agencies.

facial recognition system

Majority of Facial Recognition Systems Are Less Accurate For People of Color, Federal Study Finds

Native Americans had the highest rates of false positives, while African-American women were most likely to be misidentified in a law enforcement database.

Housing and Urban Development

Lawmakers Seek Answers on HUD's Use of Facial Recognition

Eight Democrats in the House and Senate want to know if public housing residents are included in decisions about facial recognition use.

washington metro

TSA, Washington Metro Test Out New System That Can Detect Explosive Devices on Passengers

The non-invasive system has been implemented by more transportation authorities around the world to address threats of terrorism in public spaces.

san diego police

Due To New Law, San Diego’s Law Enforcement Facial Recognition Program Will End in 2020

Thanks to a statewide policy banning law enforcement use of facial recognition for three years, several agencies in San Diego will lose access to a database of facial scans.

orbitz site

Orbitz and Expedia Reach $110,000 Settlement with Pennsylvania AG Over 2017 Data Breach

The travel companies were fined for lax data security practices that potentially led to a breach affecting 880,000 payment cards globally.

camera with facial recognition software

Second Massachusetts Town Bans Government Use of Facial Recognition

The vote marks the fourth town that has banned facial recognition this year, following Somerville, Mass. and San Francisco and Oakland in California.

New Orleans Becomes Latest City To Suffer Ransomware Attack

The cyberattack caused the city to completely shut down its network for several days, but did not affect emergency services.

CBP Sign

ICE, Customs and Border Protection Face Lawsuit Over ‘Stingray’ Cell Phone Surveillance Tech

There is little known about the government’s use of “stingrays,” which tracks the locations of a cell phone and all devices within its range.

seattle tacoma airport

Seattle-Tacoma Airport Becomes First To Resist Government Push For Facial Recognition Expansion

The Port of Seattle Commission approved a moratorium on new biometric technology programs on Tuesday amid concern over data privacy and the tool’s accuracy.

Lindsey Graham

Senators to Big Tech Companies: Build A Back Door For Law Enforcement To Access Encrypted Messages, Or Else

The ongoing debate over Apple and Facebook’s decision to not build “backdoors” for law enforcement to obtain encrypted messages continued to rage during a Senate hearing on Tuesday.

cyber attack

Pensacola Government Faces Cyber Attack Hours After Shooting at Naval Base

The government has not linked the attack to the shooting, which is being investigated as an act of terrorism.

Huawei Files Second Lawsuit Against U.S. Government Over Ban

After the FCC voted to ban telecommunications companies from using subsidies to buy equipment from Huawei, the Chinese company filed suit.

NJ state police

Gun Battle in New Jersey Ends With Six Deaths, Including Police Officer

The shooting in Jersey City lasted for over an hour and ended with a firefight between the suspects and several police officers.

fbi logo

Shooting At Pensacola Naval Base is Being Investigated as Terrorism, FBI Says

Friends of the gunman, who was in the Saudi air force, have been cooperating with the investigation into the attack, which killed three sailors.

port of entry

House Legislation Would Increase Use of Non-Intrusive Inspection Tech at Ports of Entry

Two House members want the Department of Homeland Security to increase its rate of inspection from 15 percent of commercial vehicles to 100 percent.

CBP website

Customs and Border Protection Drops Plans To Expand Facial Recognition Scans to American Travelers

The decision to reverse plans to expand facial recognition at ports of entry came after widespread criticism from legislators and activists.

naval air station pensacola

Four People Dead, Including Suspect, After Shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola

This is the second time in three days that a shooter has opened fire at a U.S. naval base.

customs officer

American Citizens Could Be Subject to Required Facial Recognition Scans While Entering or Leaving U.S.

The Trump administration plans to expand facial scans from a pilot program for foreign travelers to include all travelers, including permanent residents and citizens.

pearl harbor

Shooting At Pearl Harbor Naval Base Kills Two Workers, Injures Another

The gunman, a current U.S. sailor, shot the three civilian workers before turning the gun on himself.

FaceApp

FBI Warns That FaceApp and Other Apps Developed in Russia Are ‘Potential Counterintelligence Threats’

The viral app concerned senators due to the amount of data that it collected, including facial scans of users.

holiday shopping

Government Warns Shoppers of Rise in Counterfeit Retailers During Holiday Shopping Season

Officials have seen an increase of counterfeit goods being sold directly to customers as well as a rise in the use of the dark web.

drone airport

Congressmen Protest TSA Plan to Shoot Down Drones Near Airports

Two House members say the Department of Homeland Security does not have enough authority to deploy defense equipment to take down drones.

huawei

Senators Call For Commerce Department To Stop Licensing Tech Sales to Huawei

Huawei has started granting licenses to companies, including Microsoft, hoping to sell products to the Chinese tech giant.

healthcare workers

House of Representatives Passes Bill Addressing Violence Against Healthcare Workers

The legislation faces a tough road ahead in the Senate and a potential veto from the Trump administration, which opposes the current version of the bill.

Capitol Hill at sunset

New Bill Would Require Federal Law Enforcement To Obtain Warrant Before Using Facial Recognition

The bipartisan legislation would prevent “abuse” of the surveillance tool by federal authorities, according to Sens. Chris Coons and Mike Lee.

louisiana capitol

Louisiana Faces Down Ransomware Attack On State Agencies

Several services were shut down on Monday, but the governor says that it was a pre-emptive measure and that the ransomware did not infect all government servers.

camera with facial recognition software

Portland Seeks to Become First City in Maine to Ban Facial Recognition Technology

The ban seeks to prohibit the use of all facial recognition technology by city officials and employees in Portland, Maine.

department of justice

Federal Prosecutors Charge 10 Men in Romance Scams Based in Nigeria

Authorities have arrested seven men across the U.S. who were part of the money laundering fraud scheme.

port of entry and customs agent

Federal Court Rules That Warrantless Device Searches at Airports, Ports of Entry Violate Fourth Amendment

Under the terms of the ruling, border agents must demonstrate “individualized suspicion” of international travelers before officials can seize and search an electronic device.

Gun Manufacturer Could be Held Liable for Sandy Hook Shooting

Gun Manufacturer Could be Held Liable for Sandy Hook Shooting

The Supreme Court refused Tuesday to shield a major arms manufacturer from potential liability in the 2012 school shooting that left 26 students and educators dead in Newtown, Connecticut.

Watchdog Group Sues ICE For Records of Facial Recognition Use and Data Collection Methods

Watchdog Group Sues ICE For Records of Facial Recognition Use and Data Collection Methods

The Project on Government Oversight wants more information about how the agency has solicited facial recognition software from Amazon and other companies.

LAPD officer

Los Angeles Police Plan to Review Body Camera Footage for Instances of ‘Biased Policing’

The new approach to reviewing officers’ footage comes as researchers question how much impact body cameras have had on police behavior.

video surveillance camera

Security Tech Company Raided, Charged With Selling Chinese-Made Equipment to Federal Agencies

Seven current and former employees at Aventura Technologies are facing federal charges for falsely claiming their products were manufactured in the U.S.

Commerce committee

Senators Introduce Bill Aiming to Grow Cybersecurity Workforce

The legislation is part of a growing industry-wide and government effort to attract more workers to the cybersecurity field.

California DMV

California DMV Data Breach Allowed Social Security Information of Thousands to Be Improperly Accessed

The DMV, already besieged by other issues, says that 3,200 license holders had their data improperly exposed to federal agencies, including immigration authorities.

pollling place

As Companies Push Mobile Voting, Experts Warn of Potential Election Security Issues

More counties want to expand mobile and online voting, but cybersecurity experts say there are still too many vulnerabilities to roll out mobile voting systems.

Huawei Sign

Commerce Secretary: Licenses For Companies to Sell Exports to Huawei Are Coming “Very Shortly”

The government has received over 200 requests from American companies to continue doing business with Huawei.

Border Wall in San Diego

Report: Smugglers Crossing U.S.-Mexico Border Have Been Able to Cut Through New Bollards

While the sawing incidents are concerning to border agents, they say that new electronic sensors and the deployment of other resources are making bollard incidents less common.

Cory Booker

Booker Introduces Legislation to Ban Facial Recognition From Federal Public Housing

The senator and presidential candidate says that the technology needs “better safeguards” before it is deployed in housing.

drone above mountain

Interior Department Grounds Entire Drone Fleet Due to Chinese Cyberattack Concerns

All of the drones used by the department were either manufactured in China or use parts that were made in the country, sparking concerns about potential hacking threats.

ACLU logo

ACLU Sues Justice Department, FBI For Records Showing Agencies’ Use of Facial Recognition Software

The ACLU’s lawsuit is the most recent development in a growing debate over regulation of facial recognition use by law enforcement.

Christopher Wray

FBI Reconsidering Body Camera Policy Amid Tensions With Local Police Departments

Police chiefs want their officers to wear body cameras at all times, but officers serving on federal task forces are forbidden from doing so.

TikTok app

Senators Ask U.S. Intelligence To Investigate Potential Security Risks of TikTok and Chinese-Owned Companies

Chuck Schumer and Tom Cotton sent a letter to the director of national intelligence expressing concerns about ByteDance, which owns the video app TikTok.

Capitol Hill at sunset

'Cyber Shield Act’ Aims To Establish Cybersecurity Standards for IoT Devices

The bill, introduced by Democratic legislators on Tuesday, would direct a committee to create security benchmarks and then give labels to products who meet those standards.

NYC City Hall

New York City Considers Legislation To Regulate Facial Recognition Use By Businesses, Property Owners

Lawmakers in the city are not advocating outright bans, but say that regulation is necessary to know how police and business owners are using the software.

Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon

Senate Bill Would Impose Steep Fines, Potential Jail Time For Executives Who Violate Data Privacy Rules

Sen. Ron Wyden, a staunch advocate of increased cybersecurity regulations, introduced the legislation as part of an effort to track how companies collect and share customer data.

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