By Pat Warren

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Protecting your privacy. Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger wants to jump start protection from cyber attacks by giving more power to Homeland Security.

Political reporter Pat Warren has more on his proposal.

The U.S. government works to recover from one of the biggest cyber attacks ever. Cyber spies breaching government computer networks stole the social security numbers, addresses, birth dates, insurance and pension information, military records and job and pay history of millions.

“We’ve been violated, especially with this government facility. You would think they would better protect us,” one woman said.

“As you know, there’s a lot of bureaucracy in Washington,” said U.S. Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, (D) 2nd Congressional District.

It’s that bureaucracy that gave Homeland Security oversight, but limited legal authority to take action to protect the “dot-gov” domain.

“We’re trying to get the laws together to not only protect our government workers–we have a lot of government workers in my district in this area–but to protect the whole country,” said Ruppersberger.

There are as many as 300,000 federal workers in Maryland, including Carolyn Jeter’s husband.

“A lot of our important information gets out, and we don’t know who’s hands it’s in. So it’s a very concerning situation,” said Jeter.

“I have a lot of government employees who work in my district, especially in Fort Meade and Aberdeen and all these different places. This will allow the Department of Homeland Security to have the authority to tell our government agencies what they need to do and what they have to do to protect the privacy and the information of all of our employees,” said Ruppersberger.

Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski is sponsoring the same bill in the Senate.

The Office of Personnel Management breach jeopardized the information of 22 million federal employees, retirees and contractors.


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