WASHINGTON (AP) -- After promising not to withhold government information over "speculative or abstract fears," the Obama administration has concluded it will not publicly disclose federal records that could shed light on the security of the government's health care website because doing so could "potentially" allow hackers to break in.<br />
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services denied a request by The Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act for documents about the kinds of security software and computer systems behind the federally funded HealthCare.gov. The AP requested the records late last year amid concerns that Republicans raised about the security of the website, which had technical glitches that prevented millions of people from signing up for insurance under President Barack Obama's health care law.<br />
In denying access to the documents, including what's known as a site security plan, Medicare told the AP that disclosing them could violate health-privacy laws because it might give hackers enough information to break into the service.<br />
"We concluded that releasing this information would potentially cause an unwarranted risk to consumers' private information," CMS spokesman Aaron Albright said in a statement.<br />
The AP is asking the government to reconsider.
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House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.
President Vladimir Putin's chief political foe was convicted along with his brother on Tuesday in a fraud case widely seen as a vendetta by the Kremlin, triggering one of Russia's boldest anti-government demonstrations in years.
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