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FBI to share election cyberattack info with state leaders

The FBI announced Thursday that it will begin notifying statewide election officials if voting infrastructure in any part of their states suffers a cyberattack, a shift from the bureau’s longstanding policy of only notifying local officials and vendors directly. Previously, the FBI would only inform a local government or election-technology vendor if it had been hacked, consistent with an agencywide policy of only notifying cybercrime victims, but a senior FBI official said this approach did "not fit" for elections, which are conducted locally but certified at the state level. The policy change was welcomed by secretaries of state, who have been pushing the federal government to share more information ahead of this year's presidential election. "This is a positive step in communications between the federal government and our states," Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate told StateScoop. Benjamin Freed reports.

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The big winners in FCC's big broadband fund

California, Texas and Michigan would benefit most from the Federal Communications Commission’s $20.4 billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund over the next decade, according to a breakdown released this week. According to the FCC’s analysis, the fund's initial $16 billion phase will bring high-speed internet to approximately 421,000 homes and businesses in California, 381,000 in Texas and 286,000 in Michigan. The commission also shared details about how the fund's distribution will help correct its roundly criticized maps of broadband availability. Ryan Johnston has more details.

Goodnight, mainframe

Mainframe computers, a technology that harkens back to an era of moon landings and men in trilby hats, are still widely used throughout government, but not in Montana for much longer. State CIO Tim Bottenfield told StateScoop this week that his mainframe is down to running just three major applications, all of which are in the process of being migrated to the state's private and highly virtualized cloud environment. When that's done, perhaps the mainframe can find a new home at the Montana Historical Society next door, Bottenfield said. Colin Wood has more.

It's a 'team sport,' folks

The National Association of State Chief Information Officers and the National Governors Association have both been nudging their members to embrace what they call a “whole-of-state” approach on cybersecurity, in which all stakeholders — including IT agencies and other departments with roles in business operations, public safety and emergency management — collaborate on information security. Yet only 31 percent of state governments have formal campaigns to make localities aware of their cybersecurity offerings, a 2019 NASCIO survey found. A new report published jointly by the organizations offers some details about building out a "whole-of-state" strategy, and a handful of states where the work is underway. Ben has more.

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