27 May 2009 | 4,709 views

Obama To Create Cyber Security Czar In White House

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It looks like Obama is taking a serious stance on Cyber Security and Cyber Crime with his introduction of a new position which will be known as the ‘Cyber Czar’.

As a senior White House official this is quite a serious position with the responsibility of protecting both the US government networks and looking out for private companies too.

It’ll be interesting to see who is chosen for the post and what kind of policies or campaigns they will run.

President Obama is expected to announce late this week his decision to create a senior White House official responsible for protecting the nation’s government-run and private computer networks from attack, according to a published report.

The “cyber czar” will probably be a member of the National Security Council but will report to the national security adviser and the senior White House economic advisor, according to The Washington Post, which cited unnamed officials who had been briefed on the plan. As of Friday, Obama had not yet settled on the advisor’s rank and title.

The announcement is to coincide with the release of a 40-page report evaluating the government’s strategy for security government networks and other infrastructure deemed critical to national security. The timing of the report – it was expected to be released a week or two ago – and the details included in the Washington Post report suggest the plan may have run into infighting by advisors to Obama.

Officially the rank and title have not yet been decided but they will be working with the National Security Council and the Economic division of the government.

The strategy will be interesting to see too, what are they going to propose to protect the government networks and what else will they deem critical to national security? I hope it includes power stations and other such resources (Industrial Control Systems for example) as they seem to be massively lacking security.

On his first full day in office, Obama signaled a willingness to have the cyber czar report directly to the president, an arrangement that he promised as a candidate and that was also recommended by a panel of more than 60 government and business computer security experts.

While the idea is whoever is appointed will be someone who can “pick up the phone and contact the president directly, if need be,” the advisor no longer would report directly to Obama, according to the report. What’s more, the czar would now have two bosses, in an attempt to strike a balance between homeland security and economic concerns.

Over the past few months, turf wars have arisen between advisors who want the ultra-secretive National Security Agency to oversee the country’s cybersecurity. Others have said the job is best carried out by the National Cybersecurity Center, an office within the Department of Homeland Security that’s responsible for coordinating the defense of civilian, military and intelligence networks. In March, the government’s cybersecurity chief abruptly resigned amid allegations his office was woefully underfunded and inappropriately controlled by the military.

Seems like there is some infighting going on in the government and a bit of a power struggle as to which department will be controlling the ‘cyber czar’.

It’s looking like the organizational problems regarding cyber security may run deeper than they appear on the surface with claims of underfunding and misuse by the military.

I hope they do sort it out though, the more secure the US government is the safer the rest of the World will be.

Source: The Register



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3 Responses to “Obama To Create Cyber Security Czar In White House”

  1. Alan 27 May 2009 at 2:58 pm Permalink

    Funny you should say this, “the more secure the US government is the safer the rest of the World will be.” It brings to mind the miriad of ways that a breach of one of the world’s superpowers could prove to be a threat to for the rest of the world.

  2. Bogwitch 28 May 2009 at 7:28 am Permalink

    One ‘cyber security czar’ = A single point of failure.

  3. Alan 28 May 2009 at 7:51 am Permalink

    It might not even be that, it could just boil down to one man’s opinion or maybe even agenda. Either way I feel sorry for the US if the NSA get in because they’re monitor mad as far as I am aware :P

    HS I don’t think would be much better. Both departments have their own ways of going about things and I’d expect that they would want to push their ideas of information gathering for the agencies as a whole.

    I would rather see an independent team/department/agency get put together who’s sole purpose is hardening the US.