Conservatives petition Obama over healthcare.gov security

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Republicans on the House Committee on Space, Science and Technology sent Dec. 11 a warning to President Barack Obama about the security risks associated with healthcare.gov.

The committee Republicans sent a letter to the president expressed concern over “the larger security and privacy issues that remain unaddressed.”

The letter comes almost a month after cybersecurity experts testified in front of the committee about the integrity of the website.

“Without adequate security measures, healthcare.gov essentially becomes a portal for online criminals to access even more sensitive, personal data maintained by the IRS, state agencies and insurance companies that share information on the website,” the letter said.

None of the Democrats on the committee signed the letter.

In the Nov. 19 hearing addressing the security of the site, witnesses from both the professional and academic sectors testified.

David Kennedy, CEO of TrustedSEC, said the basic foundation of security for the website was not up to par.

“It’s very susceptible to attack,” Kennedy said.

Others who offered their testimony noted within the first few weeks of healthcare.gov’s launch, more than 700 fake websites mimicking healthcare.gov’s design emerged online. The websites were intended to trick users into giving up personal information, when they thought they were signing up for health care.

The Obama administration has reiterated that no personal information is actually stored on healthcare.gov and instead transmits the data to other secure government sites.

Still, the Republican cohort worried the size and scope of the information sharing raised security concerns, according to the letter.

Healthcare.gov was released Oct. 1 to a slew of technical problems. The Department of Health and Human Services hired Jeff Zients on Oct. 22 to fix the site by the end of November.

As of Dec. 11, the website has shaken off most of its glitches. So far, 365,000 Americans have signed up for health care and the website can handle 800,000 visitors a day.

-In this Story-

Congress, Government IT News, HealthCare.gov, Jeff Zients, National Science and Technology Council, White House
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