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Category Archives: Congress

Active Cyber Defense Certainty Act

The Register: “Two members of the US House of Representatives today introduced a law bill that would allow hacking victims to seek revenge and hack the hackers who hacked them. The Active Cyber Defense Certainty Act (ACDC) [PDF] amends the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act to make limited retaliatory strikes against cyber-miscreants legal in America for the first time. The bill would allow hacked organizations to venture outside their networks to identify an intruder and infiltrate their systems, destroy any data that had been stolen, and deploy “beaconing technology” to trace the physical location of the attacker. “While it doesn’t solve every problem, ACDC brings some light into the dark places where cybercriminals operate,” said co-sponsor Representative Tom Graves (R-GA). “The certainty the bill provides will empower individuals and companies use new defenses against cybercriminals. I also hope it spurs a new generation of tools and methods to level the lopsided cyber battlefield, if not give an edge to cyber defenders. We must continue working toward the day when it’s the norm – not the exception – for criminal hackers to be identified and prosecuted.”

  • “I never thought of it this way. It’s basically the cyber version of being allowed to murder someone for entering your property.” https://t.co/vu1TxqQIMK — MalwareTech (@MalwareTechBlog) October 13, 2017

Presidential Obstruction of Justice: The Case of Donald J. Trump

Paper via Governance Studies at Brookings – Presidential Obstruction of Justice: The Case of Donal J. Trump. Barry H. Berke, Noah Bookbinder and Norman L. Eisen. October 10, 2017. “There are significant questions as to whether President Trump obstructed justice since taking office. We do not yet know all the relevant facts, and any final… Continue Reading

The Blue Slip Process for U.S. Circuit and District Court Nominations

CRS report via FAS – The Blue Slip Process for U.S. Circuit and District Court Nominations: Frequently Asked Questions, Barry J. McMillion, Analyst in American National Government. October 2, 2017. “The blue slip process used by the Senate Judiciary Committee (the committee) for U.S. circuit and district court nominations has received renewed interest from Senators.… Continue Reading

Wildfire Suppression Spending: Background, Issues, and Legislation in the 115th Congress

CRS report via FAS –  Wildfire Suppression Spending: Background, Issues, and Legislation in the 115th Congress, October 5, 2017 “Congress has directed that the federal government is responsible for managing wildfires that begin on federal lands, such as national forests or national parks. States are responsible for managing wildfires that originate on all other lands.… Continue Reading

GAO – Presidential Transition: Information on Ethics, Funding, and Agency Services

Presidential Transition: Information on Ethics, Funding, and Agency Services – GAO-17-615R: Published: Sep 7, 2017. Publicly Released: Oct 10, 2017 – “The change from one presidential administration to the next is a complex process requiring coordination among many parties, including the outgoing President, federal agencies, the President-elect, anda Transition Team. During a transition, the President-elect… Continue Reading

The Facts on Number of Federal Employees

POGO – Contractors and the True Size of Government, October 5, 2017 “Four out of every ten people who work for the U.S. government are private contractors. That’s according to a new report by New York University professor Paul Light. Light estimates the true size of the federal government (as of 2015) is 9.1 million government employees,… Continue Reading

CRS – Abortion: Judicial History and Legislative Response

CRS report via FAS – Abortion: Judicial History and Legislative Response, Jon O. Shimabukuro, Legislative Attorney. September 29, 2017. “In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court concluded in Roe v. Wade that the U.S. Constitution protects a woman’s decision to terminate her pregnancy. In Doe v. Bolton, a companion decision, the Court found that a state… Continue Reading

NYT – How Computers Turned Gerrymandering Into a Science

New York Times Sunday Review – “About as many Democrats live in Wisconsin as Republicans do. But you wouldn’t know it from the Wisconsin State Assembly, where Republicans hold 65 percent of the seats, a bigger majority than Republican legislators enjoy in conservative states like Texas and Kentucky. The United States Supreme Court is trying… Continue Reading

The Partisan Divide on Political Values Grows Even Wider

Pew – Sharp shifts among Democrats on aid to needy, race, immigration “The divisions between Republicans and Democrats on fundamental political values – on government, race, immigration, national security, environmental protection and other areas – reached record levels during Barack Obama’s presidency. In Donald Trump’s first year as president, these gaps have grown even larger.… Continue Reading

CRS – Executive Branch Reorganization

Executive Branch Reorganization, August 3, 2017 R44909 “The federal bureaucracy of the present day is the product of more than two centuries of legislative and administrative actions by successive generations of elected and appointed officials. As such, the diverse organizations and processes of the federal government are a consequence of the influence and decisions of… Continue Reading

EPIC Urges Congress To Hold Equifax Accountable, Update Data Protection Law

“EPIC has sent statements to Congress ahead of hearings in the House and Senate on the Equifax data breach. EPIC underscored the risk to American consumers of data breaches which are increasingly severe. EPIC urged Congress to require prompt data breach notification, data minimization, and privacy enhancing techniques. In 2011 EPIC testified in the House… Continue Reading

How the House and Senate Budgets Stack Up

Committee for Responsible Federal Budget – How the House and Senate Budgets Stack Up: With the release of the Senate budget resolution, we now have the two Congressional budgets that will set up the budget process for the rest of the fiscal year. There are many similarities between the two budgets but also key differences… Continue Reading