Fox Cherry Picks Testimony On HealthCare.Gov To Stoke Fears About Security

Blog ››› ››› OLIVIA MARSHALL

Fox News stoked fears about the security of HealthCare.gov, all but ignoring the fact that a top official testified to Congress on January 16 that the website is secure. 

The January 16 edition of Special Report with Bret Baier featured a panel discussion on the security of the health care website consisting of Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer, Fox News Legal Analyst Andrew Napolitano, and frequent Fox guest A.B. Stoddard. Baier and his guests roundly panned the website's security, relying on testimony by cyber security expert David Kennedy, who claimed that HealthCare.gov remains insecure:

Kennedy is the head of computer security consulting firm TrustedSec LLC and has no direct knowledge of the health care website's security, but the panelists favored his assessment over that of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) top cybersecurity official, Teresa Fryer. Fryer told Congress on January 16 that HealthCare.gov passed critical security tests and that the protections put in place have prevented attacks.  Fryer had initially expressed concern over the website's security problems before its launch, but said the tests' results alleviated that concern. From ABC News:

[Fryer] told the House Oversight Committee that results from the tests have alleviated her earlier concerns about risks of cyberattacks and theft of consumers' personal information.

"This security control assessment met all industry standards, was an end-to-end test and was conducted in a stable environment that allowed for testing to be completed in the allotted time," Fryer told the panel. The assessment was completed Dec. 18, she said.

[...]

Fryer told lawmakers today there have been no successful attacks on the website since Oct. 1, and that mitigation strategies to limit risks to cybersecurity have been effective.

Unlike Kennedy, Fryer has regularly tested the site's security since its launch.

Kennedy himself made an appearance on On the Record with Greta Van Susteren to further push his claims that the security of HealthCare.gov is "really bad," conveniently failing to mention that Fryer's testimony flew in the face of his allegations. Van Susteren, like Kennedy, completely ignored Fryer's assessment that the site is secure. 

Fox's fear-mongering about the Affordable Care Act's website falls in line with the network's continuous attempts to vilify the law while completely ignoring its positive effects. 

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