GOP Rep. Grills Sebelius on Security Risks: ‘You’ve Exposed Millions of Americans’


During testimony in the House Energy and Commerce Committee Wednesday morning, Representative Mike Rogers (R-MI) strongly lectured Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius about what he claimed were untested security precautions on, reading aloud from an internal memo that he said revealed the recklessly endangerment of user’s private financial information.

“Let me tell you what you did,” Rogers said. “You accepted a risk on behalf of every user of this computer that put their personal financial information at risk because you did not even have the most basic end-to-end test on security of this system. Amazon would never do this. Pro Flowers would never do this. Kayak would never do this. This is completely an unacceptable level of security.”

“You have exposed millions of Americans because you all, according to your memo, believed it was an acceptable risk,” Rogers said. “Don’t you think you had the obligation to tell the American people that we’re going to put you in this system, but beware, your information is likely to be vulnerable?”

Sebelius tried to rebut Rogers charges, stating that the memo Rogers had cited went on to detail weekly tests conducted on the site, but Rogers repeatedly cut her off, until Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA) finally interrupted. “I think the witness ought to be allowed to answer what was a speech by the colleague, because he’s raised a lot of issues,” Waxman said.

“You mean there’s been no other speeches here today?” Rogers said. “That’s shocking.”

“This document discusses mitigation strategies for security that are ongoing and upgraded,” Sebelius finally said. “An authorization to operate on a permanent basis will not be signed until these mitigation strategies are satisfied. It is under way right now, but daily and weekly monitoring and testing is under way.”

“Mr. Chairman,” Rogers said, “there are people using this system today, and she’s just admitted again the system isn’t secure—”

“She didn’t admit that,” Waxman said. “You said it, she didn’t say it.” At that point, Rogers’ time expired.

Watch the full clip below, via CSPAN:

[Image via screengrab]

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