Facing cybersecurity issues on multiple fronts, local officials and IT experts briefed U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis on Thursday about what they're doing to keep pace with hackers and other online threats.
Davis, R-Taylorville, hosted a discussion with representatives from Normal Police, State Farm, Illinois universities, and other agencies at the Integrity Technology Solutions Learning and Collaboration Center in Bloomington. It was sparked in part by the recent Equifax breach—the largest theft of Social Security numbers in history—which has lead to calls for tough new rules to reshape the credit reporting landscape.
The talk aimed to inform Davis about the need for heightened and, in some cases, lessened security.
Companies like Apple have been reluctant to give law enforcement access to their users' locked devices. McLean County State's Attorney Jason Chambers, who attended Thursday's session, said law enforcement needs to investigate criminals' locked cell phones in cases of homicide, missing persons, sexual assault or child pornography.
Chambers said information not related to those searches would still be secured and protected.
"There's a difference between criminal conduct and protecting someone's privacy," said Chambers.
Davis said legislators need to draw up solutions to protect people and aid the police.
"We've got to figure out a balance to strike so law enforcement can do their jobs when crimes occur, versus what our small businesses and communities need to protect themselves and their customers," said Davis.
— US Rep Rodney Davis (@RodneyDavis) October 20, 2017
Davis said Illinois State University's new cybersecurity program puts him at ease as not just a lawmaker, but as a father.
Davis has a daughter enrolled at ISU. He said he is pleased with ISU's measures to protect student information.
"I'm blessed enough to represent four public universities, four private universities, many community college districts. The fact that so many of them are represented here shows me they take this issue very seriously," said Davis. "As a parent of a college student, that makes me feel good that our tuition money is being invested wisely."
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