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Governor mistakes reporting for "hacking"

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson yesterday accused a St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter who discovered a data exposure on a state education agency’s website with “hacking” teachers' sensitive data. The governor then threatened the reporter and his colleagues with criminal and civil prosecution. Despite Parson's huffing, the reporter, who notified Missouri officials of the flaw and gave them time to fix it before publishing his story, followed ethical vulnerability disclosure practices, said Katie Moussouris, the CEO of Luta Security. "Going after security researchers with lawsuits and threats is the fastest way to weak security,” she said. Benjamin Freed reports.

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'Democracy is in trouble'

Matt Masterson, CISA's former lead election security official, is recommending comprehensive changes to protect the ballot in future elections, from physical safety upgrades for election workers and federal agency revamps to mandated disclosure of cyber incidents. A report Masterson published yesterday at Stanford's Internet Observatory Cyber Policy Center found that 2020 was marred by misinformation that undermined public faith in elections, inconsistent funding to mitigate IT vulnerabilities and threats against election officials. "Our democracy is in trouble," Masterson told CyberScoop's Tim Starks. Read more from Tim.

Sin City's 'digital twin'

Las Vegas will design a virtual model of its downtown area to map internet-connected devices that collect information about building emissions and transit in the area, according to an announcement on Wednesday from Cityzenith, a data-visualization software company. The model will serve as a "digital twin" of Downtown Las Vegas, giving officials like CIO Michael Sherwood the ability to simulate tests of different technologies and strategies without spending additional money or wasting resources. Ryan Johnston has details.

Making state IT more inclusive

During the NASCIO conference in Seattle this week, Tennessee CIO Stephanie Dedmon shared with an audience her agency's recent efforts to make state-government IT a more diverse and equitable place to work. In the wake of last year's nationwide protests over police violence and racial injustice, Dedmon said she supported a pair of employees' creation of a new Diversity and Inclusion Council. The group, which has since grown to 14, is developing programming to make the state's IT workforce more inclusive, and meets regularly with Dedmon and other senior leaders. Ben has more.

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