The year began with news of layoffs in the tech sector, but it’s important to note that demand for skilled cybersecurity employees remains strong. Filling cybersecurity roles will likely be a persistent challenge for businesses for the foreseeable future. Recognizing the talent gap in cybersecurity, last year, the U.S. House introduced legislation to boost cybersecurity education at community colleges. We will be looking for this legislation to be reintroduced this year—and will alert VFI members when this happens.
You’ll find our roundup of tech policy news below as well as a tech highlight. Thank you.
This Week in Washington
- Wall Street Journal and Washington Post: The early section of President Biden’s State of the Union address focused on semiconductors, tiny transistors that he is hoping the country will start making more of. He noted that during the pandemic a chip shortage caused major problems, including delays with manufacturing cars and trucks. “We can never let that happen again,” Mr. Biden said. The President also used a portion of his address to discuss some cyber-related topics like online privacy, but he steered clear of addressing cyber directly.
- Nextgov: More than half of the Government Accountability Office’s recommendations for protecting critical infrastructure services from cyber threats have not been implemented since 2010, potentially jeopardizing the security of the nation’s power grid and other vital services, according to a report issued by the watchdog.
- The Hill: White House cyber adviser Chris Inglis is set to resign from his post as national cyber director next week. Inglis, who was appointed by Biden as the nation’s first national cyber director, is set to serve his last day on Feb. 15 after decades of government national security work and a year-and-a-half in the current position.
- Nextgov: The Foreign Adversary Communications Transparency, or FACT, Act was reintroduced last week by members of the House Armed Services Committee. The legislation aims to address foreign influence on the nation’s telecommunications infrastructure.
- Fierce Telecom: While industry groups hailed Biden’s comments reaffirming his commitment to connect every community in the country with high-speed internet, they were notably silent about his support for new legislation which would tackle so-called “junk fees” levied by ISPs and others.
- The Hill: Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) said that TikTok is collaborating with U.S. intelligence to enact precautions aimed at safeguarding the popular video-sharing platform from Chinese surveillance.
- Washington Post: Microsoft said Tuesday that it would “reimagine” its Bing search engine — potentially transforming search by creating a new way for consumers to receive more direct, more comprehensive answers written in response to their queries. It will use a new “generation” of an artificial intelligence model debuted by OpenAI, the company that released popular chat bot ChatGPT.
- CNN: A new global ransomware campaign has hit at least 3,800 victims, including hundreds in the U.S., according to crowdsourced data reviewed by CNN, prompting warnings from European and U.S. cybersecurity officials.
- CyberScoop: An Iranian cybersecurity company sanctioned by the U.S. government for meddling in U.S. elections was responsible for stealing and attempting to sell subscriber data from the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, Microsoft researchers said last week.
- Axios: A pro-Russian hacktivist group’s low-level distributed denial-of-service attacks on U.S. critical infrastructure could be a precursor to more serious cyberattacks, health care and security officials warned last week.
Official Microsoft Blog
- Yusuf Mehdi, Corporate Vice President & Consumer Chief Marketing Officer
To empower people to unlock the joy of discovery, feel the wonder of creation and better harness the world’s knowledge, today we’re improving how the world benefits from the web by reinventing the tools billions of people use every day, the search engine and the browser.
Microsoft launched an all new, AI-powered Bing search engine and Edge browser, available in preview now at Bing.com, to deliver better search, more complete answers, a new chat experience and the ability to generate content. We think of these tools as an AI copilot for the web. (Reinventing search with a new AI-powered Microsoft Bing and Edge, your copilot for the web – February 7, 2023)