Senate Democrats are circulating among their offices text of a letter they may send to senior Federal cybersecurity leaders questioning the impact of the partial Federal government shutdown on the security of government networks, MeriTalk has learned.

The letter is being circulated by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and would ask Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Gen. Paul Nakasone, who heads the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command, to answer a series of questions about the shutdown’s impact on security.

Among those are queries about the security of government websites, steps taken to prevent cyber attacks on government agencies during the shutdown, DHS’ work with other agencies to ensure that website security and encryption certificates were renewed, and whether post-mortem assessments will be conducted to discover any “suspicious activity” on Federal websites.

According to the text of the letter, websites with expired security certificates included ones operated by the Justice Department, the Administrative Office of the Courts, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

The deadline for senators to sign onto the letter is Feb. 6.

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John Curran
John Curran
John Curran is MeriTalk's Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.