Jane Edwards

House Lawmakers Ask Agencies to Provide More Details on SolarWinds Hack

Cyber Hacks

A group of bipartisan House lawmakers sent letters to heads of federal agencies requesting more information related to the SolarWinds cyberattack. Lawmakers also want to know how agencies evaluate vendors for cybersecurity risks and whether they have a specific plan in place to reduce the risks of future supply chain attacks.

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GAO: Pentagon Should Update F-35 Program’s Block 4 Modernization Schedule

F-35 Modernization

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has recommended that the Department of Defense (DoD) update the F-35 fighter jet program's schedule for the Block 4 software and hardware modernization to reflect realistic time frames. GAO made the recommendations after it found that the Pentagon's F-35 program “routinely underestimated the amount of work” necessary to build Block 4 capabilities. 

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William Burns Confirmed as CIA Director

William Burns

The Senate confirmed William Burns, former deputy secretary of state, a veteran diplomat and 2021 Wash100 Award recipient, to lead the CIA as its director. During his confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee in February, he said politics should not interfere with intelligence work. Burns is president of the international affairs think tank Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

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House Lawmakers Call on White House to Cut DOD Budget

Capitol Hill

A group of 50 House lawmakers has asked President Biden to reassess spending priorities by reducing the Department of Defense’s budget to help pay for public health, research and other activities. “We could cut the Pentagon budget by more than ten percent and still spend more than the next ten largest militaries combined,” they added.

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GAO Reports on Agencies’ Progress in Implementing Recommendations to Strengthen Federal Science and Tech Workforce

Federal Science and

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a report summarizing its insights on previous work and recommendations encompassing three areas for building up the federal workforce in science and technology. “We testified that while agencies have implemented some of our prior recommendations, they haven't fully implemented others,” GAO said in the report.

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FCC Begins Process to Determine Whether to Retain Section 214 Authority of Pacific Networks, ComNet

Federal Communications

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has started a proceeding to determine whether to terminate the authority of Pacific Networks and its ComNet subsidiary to provide telecommunications services within the U.S. FCC said the launch of the proceeding will allow the entities to present additional evidence and respond to specific questions.

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Maj. Gen. Peter Gallagher Offers Update on Army’s Modernized Network Capabilities

Maj. Gen. Peter Gallagher

The U.S. Army is deploying new networking tools for Capability Set 21 as part of the service’s network modernization plan. Many of those systems are being fielded today to our maneuver formations, and also to our expeditionary signal attires,” Maj. Gen. Peter Gallagher, director of the network cross-functional team at Army Futures Command (AFC). 

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U.S. Navy, USMC Issue Unmanned Campaign Framework; Frederick Stefany Quoted

Frederick Stefany

The U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps have released a campaign plan that outlines a strategy for integrating unmanned systems in support of the future maritime mission. “It also sets the framework to enable the Department of the Navy to accelerate, deliver and scale valuable manned and unmanned capabilities,” Stefany added.

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DOJ, DHS Release Key Findings From Classified Report on Foreign Election Interference

Election Security

The Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have issued a joint statement saying they found no evidence that a foreign government compromised election infrastructure to manipulate the 2020 U.S. federal elections. The joint document released on Tuesday includes key findings and recommendations from the classified report. 

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Army, Air Force Fund Quantum Computing Research; Sara Gamble Quoted

Quantum Computing

Researchers at University of Massachusetts Amherst have discovered a new type of quantum error correction that could help advance the development of a fault-tolerant quantum computer, which could provide the military with data processing capabilities needed to fight in multidomain operations. “Efficiency is increasingly important as quantum computation systems grow in size to the scales we’ll need for Army relevant applications,” Sara Gamble explained. 

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