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Florida cops raid COVID data whistleblower

Florida police yesterday raided the home of Rebekah Jones, the state health department's former COVID-19 data officer who was fired in May after accusing Gov. Ron DeSantis of wanting to manually alter information about the health crisis. In a video Jones posted to Twitter, officers can be seen with guns drawn as they seized her computer equipment. State officials said they were investigating "unauthorized access" to a Department of Health database. Jones, who has continued to publish pandemic data on an independent dashboard said DeSantis "sent the gestapo." Colin Wood reports.

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Maybe in 2021, then?

NASCIO's federal priorities were quite clear at the start of the year: With a steady rise in attacks against state and local networks — including a particularly brutal year of ransomware incidents — consuming more and more resources of IT and emergency management departments, states needed Congress to step up and create an annual funding stream to help states and localities up their defenses. But nearly 12 months later, a few procedural wins notwithstanding, the grant program sought by states remains unfulfilled, while ransomware remains pernicious as ever and the pandemic throws new challenges at government. "We’ll continue to advocate," NASCIO President Denis Goulet said. Benjamin Freed reports.

Zero trust for NYC

Following a successful internal rollout, New York City’s cybersecurity agency wants to pursue the citywide adoption of a zero-trust security architecture across a government with more than 100 agencies and more than 325,000 employees. Colin Ahern, a deputy citywide CISO, told StateScoop that his office had adopted zero trust architecture before the pandemic hit, but that it was particularly handy when all city personnel started working from home. “Within a day, we pivoted more than 100 cybersecurity professionals to remote and not making a configuration change,” Ahern said. But doing the same for the entire city will be “a horse of an entirely different color.” Ben has more.

How IT leaders dealt

2020 will be remembered as a year of constant crises. On top of a raging pandemic, state, local and education IT leaders have also been tested by dangerous election misinformation, record-setting hurricane and wildfire seasons and uncertain financial outlooks. As part of a special report on a chaotic year, StateScoop and EdScoop asked 14 CIOs, election officials, education leaders and others to reflect on what this year has meant to them. Read their stories.

Port of Los Angeles, IBM to build cyber resilience center

Los Angeles will spend nearly $7 million to launch a cybersecurity center with IBM focused on defending the city’s maritime supply chain, the company announced Monday. The Port of Los Angeles entered a three-year contract with IBM to develop the center, which will automate threat monitoring for companies beyond “traditional maritime stakeholders” and into the telecommunications and cargo companies that support the port’s supply chain. Ryan Johnston has details.


Pennsylvania’s IT investments to improve remote work, citizen services

Pennsylvania CIO John MacMillan shares how the commonwealth is investing in cloud-based services amid the pandemic. He says that continuity planning is critical to its success. These plans allowed the state to identify key investments early on to enable a secure remote workforce, provide scalable capacity and improve services based on how citizens and business stakeholders use services. He shares strategies the state is taking to focus on complex, higher-value activities, like AI. Hear more from MacMillan.

Illinois Treasurer Office’s Joseph Daniels on security during the pandemic

Daniels spoke with FedScoop after the Fortinet Security Transformation Summit. Watch the video.

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