By PATRICK O'CONNOR
In the wake of revelations that Chinese hackers infiltrated
congressional computers, lawmakers say they fear more breaches of
laptops, BlackBerrys and other personal electronic devices.
But the culprit isn.t a foreign government so much as members and
staffers still in the dark about the dangers that lurk in cyberspace.
"We need to get their attention first," said Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a
California Democrat who represents Silicon Valley and has been tapped to
organize a refresher course for members about the ways hackers can
infiltrate congressional computers.
Lofgren and Michigan Rep. Vernon J. Ehlers, the top Republican on the
Committee on House Administration, are trying to organize a bipartisan
member briefing with congressional support staff to review the protocols
for protecting sensitive information stored on congressional computers.
If that briefing falls through, Lofgren has also been asked to brief a
Democratic Caucus meeting to make sure her colleagues know how to avoid
In addition, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is changing the
congressional travel policy to ensure that members taking trips abroad
are told how to avoid breaches of their laptops and BlackBerrys. The
speaker and Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) have also directed
their top technology staffers to tighten the House computer system to
ensure its security, aides confirmed.
On the Republican side of the aisle, Ehlers distributed an eight-point
bulletin last month about protecting sensitive data.
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