Thursday, October 02, 2008

U.S. Cyber Security Shake Up Would Give White House More Control

John Leyden writes on The Register:

A bill that would see the White House take more involvement and control in leading US cybersecurity efforts has been tabled before Congress. The move follows recent criticism of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The latest DHS authorization bill [.pdf] turns the director of National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) into a presidential appointment. The bill, which allocates a budget of $30m to the DHS over the next financial year, also incorporates provisions for the NCSC director to report directly to the president on key strategies, such as securing the country's critical infrastructure from attack and inter-agency strategy.

Silicon Valley businessman Rod Beckström was appointed as the NCSC director by DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff back in March. Cybersecurity efforts at the DHS - which include running a computer emergency response team as well as the newly-created NCSC - are led on a day to day basis by under secretary Robert Jamison.

The provision of the bill will please critics of the DHS who have called for increased presidential involvement in directing US cybersecurity efforts, some of who have described the DHS as "rudderless".

More here.


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