Tags: jason chaffetz | gary palmer | cyber security | cyber terorrism | hacking

Chaffetz, Palmer: Agencies Blocked From Strengthening Cyber-Security

Chaffetz, Palmer: Agencies Blocked From Strengthening Cyber-Security
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 22 March 2016 04:42 PM

Two GOP lawmakers are blaming a federal union for undermining the efforts of U.S. agencies to bolster internal cyber-security.

In an op-ed for the Washington Times, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz of Utah, and Alabama Rep. Gary Palmer, argue last summer's hack of the Office of Personnel Management that exposed the personal data of more than 21.5 million Americans proves "federal agencies should have the full authority to act quickly to protect vital information systems."

Yet the American Federation of Government Employees prevented a federal agency from strengthening its defenses against data breaches by blocking workers' access to certain websites, they charge.

"Putting collective bargaining rights above security is preposterous," the pair write. "It is critical that Congress intervene and help make every effort to strengthen our cyberdefenses."

"In the face of advanced persistent threats to cybersecurity, constraining federal agency directors with internal and external barriers leaves our government information systems unnecessarily exposed," they write, adding "Congress can help close with thoughtful legislation."

In a 2011 case involving the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency, the agency wanted to block federal workers from accessing their personal email sites after noticing an uptick in online viruses — but the union filed a grievance and won.

The lawmakers argue federal agency directors should be ensured they "have the authority and flexibility they need to quickly deal with the continuing evolution of cybersecurity threats."

The union said the lawmakers' argument has "no credibility," the Washington Post reports

"There is truly no limit to the depth that anti-union lawmakers will stoop in their ongoing crusade to suppress the workers’ voice at the job site," the union responded, the Post reports. "This argument has no credibility on its face, and bad intentions at its heart."

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Politics
Two GOP lawmakers are blaming a federal union for undermining the efforts of U.S. agencies to bolster internal cyber-security.
jason chaffetz, gary palmer, cyber security, cyber terorrism, hacking
294
2016-42-22
Tuesday, 22 March 2016 04:42 PM
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