Category Archives: Technology

First building of $100 million Cyber Center opens in Augusta

Gov. Nathan Deal yesterday attended the opening of The Hull McKnight Building at The Georgia Cyber Center, a first-of-its-kind collaborative cybersecurity center located in Augusta. The $100 million Georgia Cyber Center is the single largest investment in a cybersecurity facility by a state government to-date, with the aim of strengthening the state of Georgia’s position as a national leader in cybersecurity. Highlights of the Georgia Cyber Center can be viewed here and a video on the Center’s background can be viewed here.

“Georgia is now the nation’s cybersecurity capital and the Georgia Cyber Center’s Hull McKnight Building will serve as the birthplace of a new future for our state,” said Deal. “We know that there are very clear and present vulnerabilities when it comes to the cybersecurity of individuals, businesses and critical public organizations. Today, there are roughly 300,000 unfilled cybersecurity jobs in this country, with expected growth of 20 percent in this sector in the next decade alone. As cybercriminals constantly evolve their tactics, we have to evolve constantly as well to remain one step ahead of them.

“I appreciate the efforts of our federal, state, local and private-sector partners who have played a role in the establishment of the Georgia Cyber Center, a resource unlike any other in the nation. By investing in cybersecurity resources to remain on the forefront of one of the most pressing issues of our time, we are working to make Georgia not only the No. 1 state in which to do business, but also the safest and most secure state for business.”

The Georgia Cyber Center is a public-private collaboration that includes the University System of Georgia’s (USG) research institutions, the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), Augusta University, Augusta Technical College, the City of Augusta, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), the Georgia Department of Defense and other state, federal and private sector partners. These entities work together to strengthen cyber defenses and combat the growing number and complexity of cyberattacks, while also meeting the increasing need for cybersecurity talent in the workforce.

There are expected to be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs worldwide by 2021. The Georgia Cyber Center will provide 21st-century workforce training through certificate programs and undergraduate and graduate-level degree programs.

About The Hull McKnight Building

  • The Georgia Cyber Range will be available to students, industry and government professionals for education and training, product development, offensive and defensive competition and more.
  • The GBI’s newly created Cyber Crime Unit will be housed in the building, allowing law enforcement professionals throughout the state to access the GBI’s expertise in digital forensics.
  • Augusta University and Augusta Technical College will collaborate in a new partnership that places a USG school alongside a TCSG school to share classes and resources.
  • theClubhou.se, an Augusta-based nonprofit organization, will manage an incubator and accelerator program to foster innovation and entrepreneurship.
  • Demonstration space will highlight cyber research taking place at USG institutions, including basic and applied research at Augusta University.

The Hull McKnight Building is named for James M. Hull and William D. McKnight, Augusta businessmen and philanthropists who envisioned the creation of a cyber facility to enrich the local workforce and support the relocation of the U.S. Army Cyber Command to Fort Gordon. At completion, the Georgia Cyber Center will consist of two buildings totaling 332,000 square feet. Construction of the second building began in January and is expected to be completed in December 2018.

Collins Praises Inclusion of CLOUD Act in Funding Package

Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), who introduced the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data (CLOUD) Act in the House this February, released the following statement in response to its inclusion in the newly released funding bill:

“The CLOUD Act frames a path for guarding the privacy of American data while enabling law enforcement to combat crime and terrorism in the digital age, and I welcome the inclusion of this thoughtful solution in a bill that also brings crucial funding to our troops. The 21st-century never fails to bring us new challenges, and it’s the job of Congress—not the courts—to deliver balanced updates like the CLOUD Act to our statutes.”

Collins introduced the bill with a bipartisan group of lawmakers including lead cosponsor Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) and cosponsors Reps. Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.), Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Tom Marino (R-Pa.) and John Rutherford (R-Fla.). Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) led the introduction of the CLOUD Act in the Senate.

The legislation would better balance the interests of cloud users while incentivizing bilateral agreements for law enforcement to fight crime.

Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act of 2018 Pillars:

  • Bilateral Agreements: The CLOUD Act enables the United States to enter into formal agreements with other nations to set clear standards for cross-border investigative requests for digital evidence. The CLOUD Act further identifies a series of statutory requirements that these agreements must satisfy, including privacy and security protections.
  • Extraterritoriality of U.S. Warrants and International Comity: The CLOUD Act amends U.S. law to make clear that U.S. warrants and other legal process issued for data held by communications providers reach data stored anywhere in the world. The reach of U.S. warrants and legal process, however, would be limited by international comity. The CLOUD Act would give providers, for the first time, a statutory right to challenge legal process based on international comity concerns.
  • Transparency: When a communications provider receives a request from U.S. law enforcement related to a national or resident of a country that has entered into a bilateral agreement with the United States, the provider will be permitted to notify that government of the existence of the request. This will allow the foreign government to assess compliance with the terms of the bilateral agreement and enable it to intervene diplomatically if it believes the request is inappropriate.

Reciprocity: The CLOUD Act would also require participating countries to remove legal restrictions that prevent compliance with data requests from U.S. law enforcement. To qualify for the statutory benefits of the legislation (removal of the U.S. blocking statute, a right for providers to object based on international comity and a right for providers to notify the government of the existence of requests), a foreign government must provide reciprocal rights and benefits to U.S. law enforcement and communications providers.

Georgia Senate Passes the BILD Act and the FIBRE Act to Expand Broadband Access in Rural Georgia

Two broadband expansion bills sponsored by Sen. Steve Gooch (R – Dahlonega), Senate Bills 232 and 426, passed the Senate on Crossover Day, Wednesday, February 28, 2018. Each bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan support.

“Thank you to my colleagues in the Senate for joining me in support of these broadband expansion bills,” said Sen. Gooch. “We have been working on these bills for a long time, and I am proud of our Chamber for taking action. Expanding broadband access has long been a top priority of the Senate, and we have taken another step toward providing rural Georgians with the services they need for economic development, telehealth, education and quality of life.”

Senate Bill 232, also known as the Facilitating Internet Broadband Expansion (FIBRE) Act, allows Georgia’s 41 electric membership cooperatives (EMCs) to deploy broadband, wireless and VoIP services to rural Georgia. The bill also sets the regulations for EMCs seeking to provide these services with a goal of creating a competitive marketplace for broadband expansion into rural areas.

Senate Bill 426, or the Broadband Infrastructure Leads to Development (BILD) Act, streamlines the permitting and deployment of a new wireless technology known as 5g – or small cell broadband – for private companies wishing to utilize public rights of way. In addition, the bill also permits the construction of small wireless technology poles on certain existing structures and allows for construction of new utility poles in areas lacking current infrastructure, while protecting historic districts.