Lucas Ropek is a staff writer for Government Technology. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and writer in Massachusetts and New York. He received his Bachelor's degree in English from Kenyon College in Ohio. He lives in Northern California.
The state, which just suffered a large-scale coordinated attack in July, was forced to take a majority of its state servers offline to mitigate the risk of the malware's infection spreading.
A new report from the Brennan Center for Justice argues that there is not enough transparency between election vendors and the governments they work for. The authors argue that more needs to be done to protect the process.
The state’s Cyber Operations Center is seeing the benefits of a $15.4 million funding boost. The investment will allow for the hiring of new staff and the deployment of new cybersecurity tools, officials say.
The new City Council committee discussed the ways in which the ransomware hackers were able to infiltrate Baltimore's IT infrastructure at its first meeting this week.
The Southern California university is helping an assortment of government groups tap into a relatively new data platform that provides innovative opportunities for research, policy and storytelling.
Programs that monitor students' social media and email, which have grown in popularity in recent years, are seen as a means of heading off the next tragic shooting. New legislation would dramatically expand their use.
As a new year approaches, myriad states are looking to adopt their own, distinct privacy laws — a fact that leaves many in the business and technology industries anxious about the road ahead.
The commonwealth's new program, which is backed by state funding, will help communities develop effective cyber-response plans. Local governments, as well as states, often lack such concrete planning.
As school officials across the country worry about how to stop the next mass shooting, biometric technologies and expanded surveillance systems have become attractive alternatives to traditional security procedures.
Months after a ransomware attack cost the city around $18 million, officials approved the purchase of a cyberliability policy to help with any future incidents. The move is one being made by governments across the U.S.
School districts have seen a stark rise in cyberattacks in just the last several years, according to the newly released report. Part of the problem could be traced back to digitally savvy students.
A recent report from the state auditor's office showed widespread noncompliance with routine cybersecurity protections. The gaps could open the state to unnecessary threats as hackers aggressively target government.
CIO Frank Johnson weathered a catastrophic ransomware attack in May, but faced much criticism for how the IT department handled the incident. He took leave in September, and the city now confirms that he’s moved on.
The initiative also seeks to bolster various protections already extant in the California Consumer Privacy Act. The agency would be responsible for enforcement of the new landmark privacy legislation.
Part of the Department of Homeland Security, the Cybersecurity Assessments program offers its services to any public or private organization that requests them, and could be a boon to smaller governments in particular.
A recently released report states that information was lost after only being saved on local servers. The lack of available data hampered the ongoing recovery efforts and raised questions about protocols.
The company is alleged to have violated New York's data breach notification laws by repeatedly failing to take adequate action to safeguard consumers, or to inform them about the true extent of attacks.
As cities draw hard lines over use of the rapidly developing technology, Portland's policy — with a unique focus on both private and public use — could mean a new standard for privacy protection.
Through quick response and an existing cyberthreat response system, the state managed to stave off what could have been a much more disastrous attack that would have affected twice as many communities.
The first publicly available platform of its kind in the U.S., it's aimed at offering small and mid-sized businesses cyberthreat tracking capabilities and trend analysis that otherwise wouldn't be accessible.
The business community's push for changes to the California Consumer Privacy Act were mostly rebutted throughout 2019's legislative session, leaving many in the private sector anxious about the future.
Under the proposed law, police would be barred from equipping their body cameras with facial recognition software for a period of three years. Questions about the accuracy of the technology and privacy are central issues.
The duration of Johnson's leave is not clear, but a city official says deputy IT chief Todd Carter will be stepping in to manage day-to-day operations. Johnson faced criticism for his response to the May cyberattack.
The University of Southern California’s new data project will show how neighborhood crime in Los Angeles intersects with other policy areas like homelessness and housing, education, economic development, and jobs.
Together with federal authorities and other partners, the state government has stepped in to help municipalities ailing from the large, coordinated attack that left town data locked up by malware.
The widespread cyberattack came at the end of last week, plunging the state into response and recovery mode. At least 23 cities and towns are working with state and federal authorities to mitigate the damage.
A 2015 lawsuit alleges the company’s tagging feature violated Illinois biometric privacy laws when applied to residents’ photos without permission. Now, an opinion out of a federal appeals court is moving the case forward.
Believing it was working with a trusted contractor to change banking information, Cabarrus County, N.C., paid scammers $2.5 million. The incident highlights yet another way cyberthieves are targeting government.
New legislation in the state comes amidst a nationwide backlash against facial recognition technology, which has in recent weeks been criticized by privacy advocates at both the city and state levels.
Due to their wealth of data and limited budget for cybersecurity staff and training, schools have drawn the eye of hackers. Experts recommend backing up data and investing in cybersecurity training and preparedness.
Internet vandals targeted two webpages under the Department of Human Services with an anti-government message. Officials say it does not appear that any sensitive information was accessed in the incident.
A problem with “some network infrastructure hardware” has been affecting state agencies since Friday morning. The intermittent connectivity issues are impacting access to state websites and call centers.
The new home security IoT product, which has seen widespread use by law enforcement agencies across the country, allows police to view home surveillance footage to assist with their investigations.
A report published by the Brennan Center warns that states and localities are ill equipped to defend themselves against the sophisticated, well-resourced intelligence agencies of foreign governments.
The attack, which was discovered late last week, is the latest in a string of cyberincidents targeting government agencies of all sizes. State officials say they are working to get systems back to normal.
The malware attacks, which were directed at school systems, affected phones and computers in at least three different communities, and the threat is still active, according to the Governor's Office.
The newly codified group will investigate how automation, artificial intelligence and other emergent technologies could be regulated, while at the same time examining how the technologies could benefit economic growth.
A bevy of legislation has been introduced in recent months that seeks to augment and change California's privacy law, but how much of it will pass remains to be seen.
The new technology, which can scan crowds and uses artificial intelligence to identify hidden weapons, is going to be beta tested in multiple places across the country, including the Virginia State Capitol Complex.
The National Association of State Chief Information Officers has shown support for the new U.S. Senate bill that would increase collaboration between federal and state and local governments on security and defense.
The New York Privacy Act was hailed by many as a bigger, badder version of California’s recent Consumer Privacy Act, but a lack of support and a substantial lobbying effort stopped it in its tracks.
The controversial decision to eliminate the state's chief information security officer has inspired criticism, though state officials have promised a continued commitment to cybersecurity efforts.
Two databases used by the state’s Department of Labor may have been accessed by unauthorized users, potentially exposing the names, Social Security numbers, addresses and personal information of thousands.
Gov. Ron DeSantis’ signature turned the Agency for State Technology into the Division of State Technologies, placing it under the Department of Management Services. Now, leadership is being named.
In an expected turn of events, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation to roll the Agency for State Technology into the Department of Management Services. The new iteration will be called the Division of State Technologies.
The new legislation, known as the SHIELD Act, would broaden the scope of what counts as data, expand the rights of consumers in the event of a breach, and increase penalties for culpable companies.
Florence, Ariz., and India-based Subex are partnering on an Internet of Things initiative to advance end-to-end cybersecurity, while at the same time teaching residents about how they can secure their own technology.
The Office of Security Management was created Tuesday through executive order. State CISO John Evans will lead the new office within the Department of Information Technology and oversee consolidation of cyberdefenses.
The city has been slowly getting its operations and systems back online after a cyberattack in early May, but debate over the administrative response to the attack is still causing controversy.
A new report from a Stanford University research group looks to prescribe defense solutions for state and local governments in the event of potential manipulation attempts by foreign powers.
Axon, known for its body cameras and TASER products, is branching into the emergent technology arena in the hopes it will change the dynamics between officers and those experiencing a mental health crisis.
The program, which has consistently created public-private partnerships to develop tech-oriented solutions to government hurdles, announced some of its latest partnership results this week.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has made it a priority to collect and analyze the social media data of thousands of people, but the reasoning behind these efforts is not always straightforward.
An attempt to limit sales of the controversial surveillance technology on the part of civil rights activists did not get far. They fear the technology could be used to unfairly target minorities, people of color and women.
Thaddeus 'Thad' Batt, a 20-year veteran of IT, will serve in the new role, which will operate out of the Governor’s Office of Information Technology (OIT).
The research group will soon release its findings about where the largest connectivity gaps are in the U.S., as well as the state policies and practices being implemented to correct Internet disparities.
For the past three years, the state has stepped up its training, outreach and coordination to protect county election systems, with the Office of the Chief Information Officer playing a key role.
A new bill signed into law by the governor will create an extensive infrastructure for combating bad actors.
Following extensive input from law enforcement and civil liberties groups, lawmakers voted this week to put a moratorium on municipal use of the technology. San Francisco is the first in the country to make such a move.
A bill passed by the Legislature and expected to be signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis will see the state’s predominant IT agency — the Agency for State Technology — folded into the Department of Management Services.
A bevy of bills would create additional consumer protections, but key parts of the legislation have shifted or fallen away since originally introduced. They include restrictions on what data voice assistants can store.
Officials have shut down a majority of the city's servers as a precaution, according to a spokesperson for the mayor's office. Meanwhile, core services like fire, police and emergency medical services remain operational.
Harris, who has worked within the Office of the Chief Technology Officer for many years, and held the position in an interim capacity since August last year, will now serve at its permanent leader.
A bill being considered in the state Legislature would penalize companies that used Internet of Things devices to eavesdrop on consumers without their permission.
According to some, the new AI-powered videos have the power to confuse and mislead voters, potentially compromising election integrity. But there isn't much in the way of legislation at the state level to address them.
The new legislation stemmed from an outcry last year over Verizon's cutback in Internet service to firefighters battling one of the state's largest wildfires. The company apologized, but opposes the bill.
The new legislation allows computer systems in autonomous vehicles to be considered drivers and opens up the opportunity for AVs to take to public roads.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has selected the former Microsoft technology and civic innovation director as the city's next chief technology officer, the city announced April 23.
The bill would have been the second of its kind in the nation, but the gap between the version supported by the tech industry, and the more stringent version favored by privacy groups, proved too big to close.
A proposed ordinance would prohibit any municipal use of the software, a move that civil rights groups support, but is opposed by law enforcement organizations and some industry groups.
The county hopes to reduce the number of lost or missing seniors with the aid of special bracelets worn by individuals that can be tracked by radio technology. Initial results look promising.
A planned reset of the global GPS system last weekend disrupted some city services. But officials say no critical systems were impacted and that the NYCWiN network will be fully restored within a few days.
Ekaterina Fitos, who was named as the state’s first geographic information officer in December 2017 before transferring to another agency, has left state service to join a civil engineering firm.
The Democratic senator wants state and local government to get smarter about how it uses technology, following in the footsteps of relatively recent federal outfits such as the U.S. Digital Service.
A recent influx of funding was meant to fix the state’s struggling Licensing and Registration System. Now, lawmakers are grappling with whether to pull the plug and start from scratch.
Legislation being lobbied for by tech company TransparentBusiness would mandate contractor monitoring to ensure work/time verification. Critics contend it would cause unnecessary security risks to government data.
After Maine elected a new governor in November, longtime IT leader Jim Smith stepped down as CIO. Now the state has a new CIO in Fred Brittain, who spent more than two decades with the University of Maine system.
Ned Lamont has put forward several initiatives that would make the state more digital, smarter and more responsive to residents. The effort could also reduce state costs by 75 percent in certain areas.
The California city and the U.S. Marine Corps will work together on a number of projects designed to enhance security and services for residents.
During the 2019 California Public Sector CIO Academy in Sacramento, technology leaders gathered to discuss the future and how best to transform citizen-facing services.
New legislation would create a working group to assess the technology's potential applications and possibly recommend policies and state investments to help make Florida a leader in blockchain technology.
A new series of bills would create a position for a chief data officer, as well as an associated task force to help develop, manage and implement state data policies.
Steve Emanuel, who formerly served as the CIO for the state of New Jersey, now returns to the public sector to helm operations for the state's largest city. Emanuel has decades of public and private IT experience.
Continually improving information sharing, mapping and content management systems have allowed law enforcement agencies across the country to keep better watch of some of society's most dangerous criminals.