FCW Insider: Oct. 25

The latest news and analysis from FCW's reporters and editors.

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), the ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee said agencies should be coordinating their cybersecurity efforts under CISA's direction and leadership. Derek B. Johnson explains why Rogers is wary of stovepipes in cybersecurity.

With workforce executive orders in effect, the Office of Personnel Management is looking for data on how much job time federal employees spend on union matters. Lia Russell has more on OPM's plan to collect data on "official time."

Navy Secretary Richard Spencer warned certain activities could suffer in "constrained" resource environments under the service's zero-based budgeting plan – and a long-term continuing resolution could further sap resources. Lauren C. Williams has more.

On Capitol Hill and at the Pentagon there's concern that delays and stopgap funding could take a toll on critical Defense Department tech upgrades, including in cloud and artificial intelligence. Lauren reports.

The Departments of Veterans Affairs, Transportation and others are looking at how to incorporate machine learning and artificial intelligence for everyday use in data analysis. Mark Rockwell takes a look.

Quick Hits

*** Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) and his former partner on the IT Subcommittee Rep. Robin Kelly (D-Ill.) are getting the band back together for an artificial intelligence initiative at the Bipartisan Policy Center.

The initiative will bring together experts and advocates for meeting and discussions with an eye to formulating a national framework on AI.

"If America loses its advantage in technology, it will have a devastating effect on our economy and national security. We need a national AI strategy to ensure the U.S. is prepared to lead on technology that will define the course of this century," said Hurd, who is retiring at the end of this session of Congress.

*** Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y. and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) teamed up on a letter to Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire seeking a review of the implications of the Chinese ownership of the popular social video platform TikTok.

"With over 110 million downloads in the U.S. alone, TikTok is a potential counterintelligence threat we cannot ignore," they wrote.

*** According to Axios, the White House is in the midst of a purge of career cybersecurity staff. Dimitrios Vastakis, branch chief of White House computer network defense, included a stark warning in his Oct. 17 resignation memo, which was obtained and published by Axios.

"Unfortunately, given all the changes I've seen in the past three months, I foresee the White House is posturing itself to be electronically compromised once again," Vastakis wrote.

According to the memo and the article, the current White House is forcing out the team of career security specialists who were assembled in the wake of a "major cybersecurity incident" in late 2014.

NEXT STORY: FCW Insider: Oct. 24

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