WASHINGTON DC - Illinois Congressman Randy Hultgren (R-14) announced via press release that he supported House passage of H.R. 3635, the Safe and Secure Federal Websites Act, a bill he cosponsored to protect the privacy and security of Americans who access federal websites.
H.R. 3635 requires Healthcare.gov and future federal websites that collect sensitive personal information, such as social security numbers, be reviewed by the Government Accountability Office and certified as secure by the agency’s Chief Information Officer before being made available to the public. Further, any federal website published after July 1, 2013 not certified must be taken down until certified as secure. Full text of the bill is available here.
“American taxpayers who are required to submit personal information to federal websites, including Healthcare.gov or IRS.gov, should have assurances that their personal information is protected by basic, industry-accepted standards of security,” said Hultgren. “Computer security experts have testified that Healthcare.gov was rolled out with alarming security vulnerabilities that put Americans’ personal information, including income data, social security numbers, and demographic information, at great risk. There was no end-to-end testing, and the website’s search bar exposed back doors that were vulnerable to hackers. The IRS’ care for Americans’ personal information is also questionable.
“Americans should never be forced to jeopardize their personal data by using an insecure government website. The Safe and Secure Federal Websites Act will help ensure any federal website that goes online has been checked for security errors and certified as safe by industry standards.”
Previously, the House Science, Space and Technology Committee hosted several hearings on online security threats, identify theft and federal website security.
At a November 19, 2013 hearing, David Kennedy, a so-called ‘white hat hacker,’ testified that there were “clear indicators that even basic security was not built into the Healthcare.gov website.” Following his testimony, Rep. Hultgren and members of the Science Committee sent a letter to President Obama raising concerns over the security and privacy risks surrounding the online Obamacare portal.
Previously, Hultgren voted for passage of H.R. 3811, the Health Exchange Security and Transparency Act, requiring HHS to notify individuals of any breach on the health care law exchanges that endangers personal data within two business days.