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Rep. Ashley Aune on the state of Missouri’s internet security and how to strengthen it

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Ashley Aune
Rep. Ashley Aune, D-Kansas City, speaks during a committee hearing earlier this year. Aune talked about cybersecurity issues on the latest episode of Politically Speaking.

On the latest episode of Politically Speaking, Missouri state Rep. Ashley Aune talks with St. Louis Public Radio’s Sarah Kellogg about a commission focused on cybersecurity she helped create and how recently revealed vulnerabilities on a state website prove the need for greater support of web security.

Aune is a Democrat from the Kansas City area, representing the 14th District. She was first elected in 2020.

Here’s what Aune talked about on the show:

  • The Missouri Cybersecurity Act, which creates a commission aimed at assessing and advising the state on cyberthreats. Aune partnered with Republican Rep. Bill Hardwick of Pulaski County to draft the bill, which was signed into law in July. However, no further action on the commission, including Gov. Mike Parson appointing members, has happened.
  • Security risks found on pages of the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s website that left the Social Security numbers of thousands of school employees vulnerable. Aune said the state needs to treat this data as if it was leaked to the public and should be providing identity theft protection.
  • Parson’s decision to criminally investigate a reporter from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch who alerted the state of the vulnerability before publishing the findings. Aune said this kind of reaction could cause future discoveries of flaws to not be reported to the state.
  • Her own goals and expectations for the upcoming session, including why the legislature may not get as much done.

The 14th District covers both Platte and Clay counties, which are north of Kansas City, but is still a part of the metropolitan area.
Aune has a bachelor's degree in communication studies and owns a marketing agency in Kansas City.

Follow Sarah Kellogg on Twitter: @sarahkkellogg
Follow Ashley Aune on Twitter: @Ashley4MO

Sarah Kellogg has been the Missouri Statehouse and politics reporter for St. Louis Public Radio since 2021.

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