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Top Democrat: House GOP needs to secure sensitive Obamacare documents

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The top Democrat on a House investigative committee has asked his Republican counterpart to set a few ground rules ahead of Thursday’s hearing on the security of Obamacare’s federal website, arguing lawmakers might leak sensitive information to hackers.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, Maryland Democrat, wrote to Rep. Darrell Issa, California Republican and chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, on Wednesday to tell him that members might air sensitive documents or information during the public session.

Mr. Issa called the hearing to take testimony from Obama administration officials who were close to the launch of Healthcare.gov, the health insurance portal that serves 36 states. The top Republican has said one of the witnesses, Teresa Fryer, warned health officials about the system’s vulnerabilities prior to its Oct. 1 launch.

But Mr. Cummings reminded Chairman Issa that in four separate letters, security contractor MITRE warned that documents it provided to the committee “include software code and other technical information that is highly sensitive and could give hackers a roadmap to compromise the security of the website and the personal information of consumers.”

He said Mr. Issa needs to set some parameters around how the information can be used in public, and how it should be stored by the committee.

“This lack of clear guidance creates an unnecessary risk of accidental or inadvertent disclosures that otherwise could be avoided,” he wrote.

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