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Pittsburgh gets an algorithm task force

The University of Pittsburgh's Institute for Cyber Law, Policy and Security this week announced the creation of a new task force to study how the city of Pittsburgh and surrounding Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, use computer algorithms to inform policy decisions, especially those involving policing and housing. Pitt Cyber director David Hickton, who will also lead the 22-member task force, said that increased use of data has made government nominally more efficient, but that polices based off analytics and number-crunching need to be checked so that they reduce, rather than reinforce, racial and gender biases. “There’s no doubt the digital space is efficient and costs less money,” he said. “But efficient government and reinforcing inequity is a false choice. We can do better.” Benjamin Freed reports.

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NASCIO's federal priorities focus on cybersecurity

The National Association of State Chief Information Officers on Wednesday released its list of federal advocacy priorities for 2020, with three of its four ambitions focused on improving cybersecurity for state and local governments. Once again, the group wants to see some "harmonization" of the many information security-related regulations federal agencies impose on states. It's also pushing for the passage of two bills currently sitting in Congress: one that would create a cybersecurity grant program within the Department of Homeland Security, and another making it easier for state and local governments to move their website to the more secure, but more expensive. .gov web domain. Colin Wood has the details.

Iran tension 'heightened awareness' for state and local cybersecurity, CISA chief says

The recent flare up between the United States and Iran following the killing of one of the Islamic Republic’s top generals in a U.S. airstrike resulted in a “heightened awareness” of Iran’s cyber capabilities among state and local governments that shouldn’t be wasted as tensions subside, the Department of Homeland Security’s top cybersecurity official told a roomful of city leaders on Wednesday.  "Even if the Iranian threat is gone, you know what’s still out there? Ransomware," Chris Krebs, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, said at a meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Ben has more.

States centralizing IT must demonstrate value, CIOs say

As state governments continue to centralize IT organizations, the job of ensuring the continuity of business operations and the security of thousands of various computer systems may become more familiar to CIOs, but no less difficult. In the latest episode of StateScoop’s Priorities podcast, Maryland CIO Michael Leahy and Massachusetts CIO Curtis Wood say that while each state is different, there is plenty they can learn from one another about how to manage a governmentwide IT organization. "Really it’s a collaboration with our folks, understanding we’re not trying to just be this state IT organization that is in charge of the world, even though we certainly have that authority," Wood says.   Listen to the podcast.

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