“From a security perspective, the aspects of the system that were not tested due to the ongoing development, exposed a level of uncertainty that can be deemed as high risk for FFM [Federally Facilitated Marketplace],” said the Sept. 27 memo.
The memo was issued by CMS IT officials James Kerr and Henry Chao, and signed by CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner.
The agency decided to go ahead with the Oct. 1 launch despite the risks, and it created a dedicated security team to monitor the risk. Tavenner said in a House Ways and Means hearing Tuesday that she believed the website was ready on Oct. 1, although she acknowledged there would be some glitches to work out.
At a House Energy and Commerce meeting Wednesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said temporary approval was given because there was a security risk “mitigation” plan.
The memo was provided in response to a request from the House Oversight Committee, CNN says. Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., has been launching an investigation into the launch of HealthCare.gov, and who in the administration knew of issues beforehand, and what is involved in the “tech surge” to fix the site.
Potential privacy and security issues have been a large talking point for Republicans against the online federal exchange.
“You accepted a risk on behalf of every person that used this computer that put their personal and financial information at risk because you did not even have the most basic ‘end-to-end’ test on security of this system,” Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., said to Sebelius. “Amazon would never do this. ProFlowers would never do this. Kayak would never do this.”
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A DHS report "found gaping holes in domestic nuclear detection and defense capabilities and massive failures during covert testing." A team put in place to assess our readiness capabilities found significant issues in detecting dangerous radioactive and nuclear materials, failing to do so in 30 percent of covert tests conducted over the course of the year. In far too many cases, the person operating the detection device had no idea how to use it. And when the operator did get a hit, he or she relayed sensitive information over unsecured open radio channels."
Donald Trump is planning to reverse an Obama-era order requiring that schools allow students to use the bathroom that coincides with their gender identity. Trump "has green-lighted the plan for the Justice Department and Education Department to send a “Dear Colleague” letter to schools rescinding the guidance." A case is going before the Supreme Court on March 28 in which Gavin Grimm, a transgender high school student, is suing his high school for forbidding him to use the men's room.
Retired Russian diplomats and members of Vladimir Putin's staff are compiling a dossier "on Donald Trump's psychological makeup" for the Russian leader. "Among its preliminary conclusions is that the new American leader is a risk-taker who can be naïve, according to a senior Kremlin adviser."