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Poll: Cyber should top Congress’s tech agenda

Four in 10 voters believe cybersecurity should be at the top of Congress’s technology agenda this year, according to a new poll. 

According to a Morning Consult poll, a plurality of voters believe preventing cyber attacks should be the main priority for Congress on the technology front, followed by approving data security standards (20 percent). 

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Surveillance reform ranks third with 10 percent, followed by net neutrality (8 percent) and drone regulations (7 percent). Another 14 percent did not have an answer. 

The House passed a pair of cybersecurity bills last week that are meant to increase information sharing between the government and the private sector. The Senate has yet to act. 

Much of the technology focus earlier this year was on the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality rules, which would reclassify broadband Internet under authority governing traditional telephones. The rules are meant to give the agency more authority to enforce rules that bar service providers from prioritizing any bit of Internet traffic above another. 

According to the poll 56 percent of voters approve of the rules, while 27 disapprove. Another 17 percent had no opinion. 

Republicans in Congress have floated a number of proposals to block the rules, but those have little chance of getting past a presidential veto. A half dozen lawsuits have also been filed to challenge the rules. 

Lawmakers are just beginning to gear up for debate about surveillance reform, as the June 1 deadline nears to reauthorize portions of the Patriot Act, which forms the legal basis for the domestic surveillance program that collects bulk phone records of Americans. 

According to the poll young people (17 percent) and males (16 percent) are most likely to say surveillance reform should be a top priority. 

The online poll surveyed 1,595 registered voters from April 17-20 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percent.