capitol hill

July 21, 2019

In the 1960s, on an 840-acre island at the entrance to Long Island Sound, scientists at the highly guarded Plum Island Animal Disease Center were at the forefront of U.S. biological-weapons research. Specifically, they sought to create pathogens that could be deployed stealthily, via insects.

July 11, 2019

A top House Republican wants internet users to own data that they generate online to give them more control over what information is collected about them by internet companies. Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), the ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee, released a set of internet privacy principles on Wednesday he said will guide legislation that he plans to release in the coming months.

June 26, 2019

These agencies were the departments of State, Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, Transportation, Education, Agriculture, and Housing and Urban Development, as well as the Social Security Administration. Of these agencies, the report found that seven had failed to provide adequate protection for personal information in their systems and that six of the agencies had not installed system patches in a timely way to protect against cyber vulnerabilities.

June 05, 2019

Lawmakers are intensifying their calls for a temporary ban on the federal government’s use of facial recognition technology after the disclosure that the FBI has amassed a database of more than 640 million photographs.

June 05, 2019

Gretta Goodwin, a representative with the Government Accountability Office, said during a House hearing on Tuesday that the FBI uses expansive databases of photos, including from driver’s licenses, passports and mugshots, to search for potential criminals.

May 24, 2019

Senior committee aides speaking to reporters on Thursday were short on details, but the move marks the first time a Senate panel has voted to support a separate service for space. In the same measure, senators also called for an overhaul of how the military buys satellites and launch services.

May 21, 2019

Astrophysicists and astronomers testified on Capitol Hill about the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), which captured the very first image of a supermassive black hole. Among the witnesses were Event Horizon Telescope Director Sheperd Doeleman and National Science Foundation Director France Cordova.

April 17, 2019

After years of ignoring the issue, lawmakers on Capitol Hill are suddenly engaged in a furious fight over enacting national legislation to establish basic online privacy rights for consumers. As with the crafting of much legislation dealing with complicated issues, legislators are relying on experts to help codify the consumer protections.

April 07, 2019

After more than two years of putting up with the Democratic “resistance,” Senate Republicans finally had enough this week. They voted to curtail abuse of Senate prerogatives and restore the principle that most presidential appointees can be confirmed with a simple majority vote. In other words, most people nominated by the president for government positions will now actually get a fair up-or-down vote, just as the framers of the Constitution envisioned.

April 07, 2019

Senate Republicans are planning to go “nuclear” on Wednesday with a rules change for hundreds of nominations, escalating a war with Democrats over President Trump’s picks. After fuming for years over the pace of confirmations, Republicans say the years-long fight will soon come to a head, and the end result will dramatically reduce the amount of time it takes to confirm most nominees.

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