TechAmerica: Appoint cybersecurity coordinator now

Trade group wants Obama to appoint a cyber coordinator

 The technology industry trade association TechAmerica wants President Barack Obama to appoint a cybersecurity coordinator at the White House as soon as possible. Obama promised to choose someone for the role more than five months ago, but it remains vacant.

Phil Bond, TechAmerica’s president, made the request in a letter to Obama dated Oct. 30. "I am writing on behalf of some 1,500 members belonging to TechAmerica and the technology industry at large to respectfully request your attention to the appointment of a cybersecurity coordinator in the White House at the earliest possible opportunity," Bond said. 

Bond said technology industry officials were pleased with Obama’s promise made in in May to appoint a White House cybersecurity chief.

“The urgency for progress in cybersecurity remains, and, therefore, so does the need for the appointment of a qualified, credible, senior level official to the cybersecurity coordinator post,” the letter said. “We realize that such assignments require measured deliberation. We look forward to optimizing the momentum you have provided with the timely appointment of the cybersecurity coordinator.”

Bond said the ideal coordinator would have relevant experience in government and industry.

Meanwhile, Bond wrote that White House and agency officials had been “continuing their excellent and diligent work” to put in place the recommendations of a review of a cyber policy the Obama administration conducted earlier this year.

“At the same time, we observe that those that would seek to harm America by exploiting our digital infrastructure continue to increase their efforts,” Bond wrote. “That is why we believe that establishing cybersecurity coordination at this point will have a galvanizing effect that would boost and focus the many federal efforts to combat cyber threats.”

About the Author

Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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