Bush considers cybersecurity board

The White House is leaning toward creating a coordination board to supplement the sole National Security Council official overseeing federal cybersecurity efforts, a senior administration official said.

When President Clinton signed Presidential Decision Directive 63 in May 1998, requiring agencies to secure the systems that support the nation's critical infrastructure, the directive also created several organizations and established a national coordinator for security, infrastructure protection and counterterrorism at the NSC.

President Bush said last month that he would re-examine the organization of and potential overlap among the agencies with critical infrastructure protection responsibilities, and the administration announced last week that recommendations would be issued shortly.

However, the discussion is flowing toward having a "coordinating body" to oversee — not dictate — actions, John Tritak, director of the Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office, said Monday at the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association conference on Protecting e-Government in the 21st Century.

According to a source close to the discussions, the coordination board would be made up of representatives from each of the agencies involved in the initiative. The NSC would still lead the board, with Richard Clarke, who served as national coordinator the past three years, most likely still filling that role.

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