May 19, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Yesterday, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-Los Angeles County) applauded the House passage of the State Department Authorization Act, which includes Rep. Lieu’s Hack Your State Department provision. Rep. Lieu introduced Hack Your State Department along with Reps. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA), Claudia Tenney (R-NY) and August Pfluger (R-TX). 

The bill will strengthen cyber defenses for the State Department by tapping ethical hackers to identify vulnerabilities in State Department’s networks and data systems. This program will rely on a bug bounty system where authorized hackers can enter a State Department system, identify and disclose weaknesses and receive compensation. Additionally, it will establish a Vulnerability Disclosure Program to field vulnerabilities reported by the general public. Previously, Rep. Lieu and Rep. Scott Taylor (R-VA) championed the Hack the Department of Homeland Security Act, which was signed into law in 2018. 

“As a recovering computer science major, I know how important it is for the government to take cybersecurity threats seriously,” Rep Lieu said. “Few places in government face as many threats from spies and foreign adversaries than the State Department, which is why ensuring the agency has strong cybersecurity protections is so important. Many private sector businesses already regularly utilize bug bounty programs, and we’ve seen success in implementing one at the Pentagon. Expanding these kinds of programs to the State Department can help us ensure our national secrets are secure. I’m pleased the House agrees and I look forward to championing this provision so it becomes law.”