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house Bill H.R. 451

Avoiding Another Healthcare.gov Fiasco

Argument in favor

Federal websites that store user information have to be secure — otherwise they should be taken offline.

AndrewGVN's Opinion
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01/08/2016
This type of security should already be in place, however, this bill will ensure that the proper internet security is in place for current government websites, and for potential future government websites.
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BTSundra's Opinion
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01/11/2016
Perhaps we should look out for our people when they're putting in information to make sure it's secure, and create a website that actually works.
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Ryan's Opinion
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01/13/2016
Look how badly the AHA website failed, and how the Obama security fails miserably. So we really want more of the same?
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Argument opposed

Shouldn't this already be a priority when the government launches websites?

Michael's Opinion
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01/15/2016
Everyone needs to read this bill. Security for websites is a no brainer. This is meant as a weapon to be used against affordable healthcare act.
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Jeff's Opinion
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06/27/2016
This bill is extremely vague. It was the development team's fault for not implementing proper security measures. This should be common practice in any environment - government or not.
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Chris's Opinion
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05/18/2016
This is just used as a way to hurt the Affordable Care Act
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What is House Bill H.R. 451?

This bill aims to keep the federal government from launching new websites that can't adequately protect user's personal data. Federal websites that collect or store personally identifiable information — like social security numbers, tax IDs, health records, or financial records — would be covered under this bill.

Existing government websites would have to prove that they are secure or comply with the new security regulations 90 days after this bill passed. If a website couldn't meet the standards, it would be taken offline until it was fixed. 

New federal websites would not be launched until the Chief Information Officer of the federal agency launching the website could guarantee user information was safe and secure. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) would also be responsible for creating policies and procedures for agencies to follow in the event of a security breach of a federal data system that contains personal information.

Impact

Users of federal websites; federal agencies with existing websites or launching new websites; the OMB.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 451

$500.00 Thousand
A CBO cost estimate found that this bill would have no significant impact on the federal budget. That said — certifying the safety of federal websites would cost the federal agencies overseeing this initiative around $500,000 over the next five years.

More Information

In Depth: This bill was originally introduced in 2013 by Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-MI) in response to the disastrous launch of healthcare.gov late in the year. In support of his bill, Bentivolio noted

"In its haste to implement Obamacare, the White House has acted with reckless disregard when it comes to protecting the public from hackers. With this website, they have jeopardized not only the personal information of users attempting to obtain health insurance, but also potentially compromised dozens of other federal agencies and their systems.”

Of Note: Under current law — there isn't one all-encompassing regulation that covers the security of the sensitive personal information that federal agencies collect. The Federal Information Security Management Act requires federal agencies to create and implement security programs for sensitive information. The Privacy Act of 1974 oversees how federal agencies collect and use personal records. And the OMB put out a 2007 memorandum on how to protect against and respond to any breaches of personal user information.

Media:

(Photo credit: HuffPost)

AKA

Safe and Secure Federal Websites Act of 2015

Official Title

To ensure the functionality and security of new Federal websites that collect personally identifiable information, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Oversight and Reform
    IntroducedJanuary 21st, 2015
    This type of security should already be in place, however, this bill will ensure that the proper internet security is in place for current government websites, and for potential future government websites.
    Like (17)
    Follow
    Share
    Everyone needs to read this bill. Security for websites is a no brainer. This is meant as a weapon to be used against affordable healthcare act.
    Like (16)
    Follow
    Share
    Perhaps we should look out for our people when they're putting in information to make sure it's secure, and create a website that actually works.
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    This bill is extremely vague. It was the development team's fault for not implementing proper security measures. This should be common practice in any environment - government or not.
    Like (4)
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    Share
    This is just used as a way to hurt the Affordable Care Act
    Like (3)
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    The very fact this exists proves the federal government has no intelligence or just doesn't give a damn about our identities and their value to criminals
    Like (2)
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    Look how badly the AHA website failed, and how the Obama security fails miserably. So we really want more of the same?
    Like (2)
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    If ever we needed immediate confirmation that government cannot run a one car funeral, the Obamacare website is the compelling evidence.
    Like (1)
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    Seems like a petty bill. Shouldn't this already be a priority when the government launches websites?
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    If you are dumb enough to trust the government with your personal information... I got nothing for you.
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    Take a look at the great work the US Digital Service is doing. Created to solve complex challenges in government, they use design and technology to deliver better services to the American people.
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    Institutionalizing security metrics is a bad idea - the focus invariably shifts from genuine threat assessment to checking the boxes, and one-size fits-all standards and solutions can often lead to vulnerabilities in a given implementation. Nevertheless, the government seems to have a willful disregard for security, so this bill may be grudgingly appropriate.
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    Right to privacy, all I have to say.
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    Let Healthcare.gov run it's course and die. Obviously the Affordable Care Act was huge mistake, but this is not the resolution to it's repeal.
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    Duh
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    This bill is full of vague language. We need to make sure that companies bidding on Government projects (such as websites) are experts in this field. The failings of the ACA website were rooted in the wrong people (and too many people) working on a project they did not have the capabilities to work on. Come back with a stronger bill.
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    Another effort to take healthcare from those who can't afford it. Can't trust Republicans to replace Obamacare.
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    No bill should be passed without reading by ALL Congress.....this should allow all to determine if necessary protections are installed. aCA
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    Empty requirements aren't going to secure websites. Better funding and more robust competition for site Dev contracts will.
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    There needs to more accountability to the contractor to make sure the product works. Also, bids need to taken in order to ensure the best savings to tax payers as well as transparency in the process for fairness.
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