News in Brief

Data transparency, a chief digital officer, Pentagon phishing and more

Rep. Darrell Issa

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.)

Issa readies financial data transparency bill

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) plans to introduce a legislation that would require federal financial regulators to publish and store financial data in standardized, searchable formats.

The former House Oversight Committee chairman is cheekily calling the bill the MADOFF Transparency Act, in a nod to disgraced financier Bernie Madoff. The title is a loosely construed acronym for the Making All Data Open for Financial Transparency Act, and it puts the onus on the Treasury Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, the National Credit Union Administration, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to present any information deemed public under existing statues to be presented in searchable format.

Treasury would be charged with setting and disseminating data standards for the other agencies to follow.

The bill has three main benefits, Issa said in a statement: It would give investors better access to regulatory data, help oversight bodies by providing them with consistent, interoperable data, and help businesses that are regulated by the nine covered agencies "by phasing out a cumbersome and outdated system based on paperwork in favor of widely-available technology that can simplify and automate reporting tasks."

Jason Goldman named first chief digital officer

President Barack Obama has tapped IT product manager Jason Goldman to be the White House's first chief digital officer, Politico reported. Goldman has held product management positions at Google and Twitter. He takes over as head of the White House's digital outreach with less than two years left in Obama's second and final term.

Pentagon CIO issues phishing warning

Defense Department CIO Terry Halvorsen has issued a memo warning Pentagon employees about potential phishing attacks. Hackers are trying to reach DOD personnel by searching the social media accounts of a third party, such as an unsuspecting relative, the memo states.

"Phishing continues to be successful because attackers do more research, evolve their tactics and seek out easy prey," the memo says. "We need to arm ourselves and our families with the defensive skills and knowledge to protect them from being victimized by a phishing email, computer or phone scam."

TSA's Pre Check signs up 1 millionth customer

One million people have signed up for the Transportation Security Administration's expedited Pre Check air travel pre-screening program, TSA said March 24.

Pre Check now has more than 330 application centers across the country, including 31 airports.

Pre Check began in October 2011, to help speed low-risk travelers through the security screening process, allowing them, in exchange for some basic personal data gathered ahead of time, to use designated inspection lanes, leave their shoes, coats and jackets on, as well as keep their laptop computers in their cases at airport security checkpoints.

TSA launched a wider Pre Check application program in December 2013, allowing U.S. citizens to directly apply for the program instead of through airlines' frequent flyer programs.

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