Sunday, February 08, 2009

Hathaway to Head U.S. Cyber Security Post

Siobhan Gorman writes in The Wall Street Journal:

President Barack Obama will tap a top aide to President George W. Bush's intelligence director to head his cybersecurity effort, according to government officials familiar with the decision. An announcement is expected as early as Monday.

The appointment of Melissa Hathaway, a former consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton, is the president's first major decision on cybersecurity. She will lead a review of the government's efforts to secure computer networks against spies, terrorists and economic criminals and is expected to then head a new White House office of cybersecurity.

Ms. Hathaway helped develop a Bush administration cybersecurity initiative, which was expected to cost around $30 billion over five years, with spending this year of about $6 billion. Ms. Hathaway's new job is to carry out a 60-day review of the initiative and recommend a path forward.

On the campaign trail, Mr. Obama criticized the Bush administration for being too slow to address cyber threats and said he would create a "national cyber adviser" who would report directly to the president. "As president, I'll make cyber security the top priority that it should be in the 21st century," he said in a speech in July. He equated cyber threats with those of nuclear and biological weapons in a campaign ad he ran at the time.?

The decision to hold a review, however, suggests that any big moves are being put off for the time being.

More here.


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