Highly topical: Honda’s congressional office to hold cybersecurity town hall

Rep. Mike Honda at a congressional town hall
last August in Fremont. 

CONGRESS | 17TH DISTRICT |
ELECTION 2016 |
Maybe it’s not only for voters in the 17th Congressional District suffering from having their personal information stolen online? Maybe it’s also for Rep. Mike Honda, himself?

Honda’s congressional office is holding a cybersecurity town hall Monday, Oct. 17, in Santa Clara. The event also includes speakers from the F.B.I., Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Secret Service.

The event is highly topic in the 17th District’s bitter electoral rematch this November between Honda and Ro Khanna. And maybe purposefully so.

Last month, Honda’s campaign filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging his campaign’s donor data suffered a “cyber attack” at the hands of challenger Ro Khanna’s campaign.

“Nearly every week there are reports about another company or government computer system that has been hacked, with thousands of people’s personal data compromised,” according to the description of the event being held at the Santa Clara City Council chambers.

“Increasingly, it seems like we all know someone who has had their email or social media accounts hacked, their private data stolen from their computers, or had their identity or credit card information stolen online.”

According to the lawsuit, Khanna’s campaign manager Brian Parvizshahi, who has since resigned, continually accessed Honda’s donor data for nearly three years. Parvizshahi was once a summer intern for the fundraising consultant used by Honda.

Meanwhile, lawyers for Honda and Khanna met in U.S. District Court Tuesday. Khanna agreed to allow Honda’s attorneys to peruse its own donor data in order to discern whether any information belonging to Honda has been used. Khanna has denied ever having access to the information alleged by Honda’s campaign of being stolen.

The next step in the congressional race’s courtroom drama arrives Oct. 31 when Parvizshahi and Khanna are due to submit their responses to the charges. Most likely, the case will continue well after the Nov. 8 election.

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