New White House cyber czar brings intell chops

As soon as Howard Schmidt went public with his plan to step down as White House cybersecurity coordinator, attention began to focus on his successor — Michael Daniel, director of the Office of Management and Budget's Intelligence Branch in the National Security Division.

As President Barack Obama’s top cybersecurity adviser, Schmidt played a key role in creating the first cybersecurity policy proposal — the International Strategy for Cyberspace — which calls for global cooperation in fighting Web-based threats and details how the United States will respond to hostile acts in cyberspace. He was also instrumental in crafting the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace, a blueprint to enhance online privacy protections through the use of trusted digital identities or a so-called identity ecosystem.

His successor will take up the effort of advancing those policies and determining how they will be implemented. “Daniel’s new job puts him squarely in the middle of a contentious debate between the White House and congressional Republicans over legislation that would permit the government and the private sector to exchange information about threats in cyberspace,” according to an Associated Press article.

Furthermore, Daniel’s experience in the intelligence field is already raising concerns in some circles. Kyle Wagner, writing at Gizmodo.com, highlighted Daniel's intelligence background, especially in light of measures such as the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act.

“What does [Daniel’s background] mean for the future of the cybersecurity issue?” Wagner wrote. “Probably that we can expect his knowledge of the intelligence community to play a part in not just tracking down hackers but determining the lines that need to be crossed with future SOPA-like bills. So while this sounds like a relatively nondescript appointment, Daniel will almost definitely be a major player the next time someone comes for your Internet.”

About the Author

Technology journalist Michael Hardy is a former FCW editor.

The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.

Featured

  • computer network

    How Einstein changes the way government does business

    The Department of Commerce is revising its confidentiality agreement for statistical data survey respondents to reflect the fact that the Department of Homeland Security could see some of that data if it is captured by the Einstein system.

  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Army photo by Monica King. Jan. 26, 2017.

    Mattis mulls consolidation in IT, cyber

    In a Feb. 17 memo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told senior leadership to establish teams to look for duplication across the armed services in business operations, including in IT and cybersecurity.

  • Image from Shutterstock.com

    DHS vague on rules for election aid, say states

    State election officials had more questions than answers after a Department of Homeland Security presentation on the designation of election systems as critical U.S. infrastructure.

  • Org Chart Stock Art - Shutterstock

    How the hiring freeze targets millennials

    The government desperately needs younger talent to replace an aging workforce, and experts say that a freeze on hiring doesn't help.

  • Shutterstock image: healthcare digital interface.

    VA moves ahead with homegrown scheduling IT

    The Department of Veterans Affairs will test an internally developed scheduling module at primary care sites nationwide to see if it's ready to service the entire agency.

  • Shutterstock images (honglouwawa & 0beron): Bitcoin image overlay replaced with a dollar sign on a hardware circuit.

    MGT Act poised for a comeback

    After missing in the last Congress, drafters of a bill to encourage cloud adoption are looking for a new plan.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group