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By Brian Robinson

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Cybersecurity czar named; let the turf wars begin

Now that Howard Schmidt is officially named the White House cybersecurity coordinator, don’t expect that to be the end of the matter, at least when it comes to what that role means and who has a say in it.

Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), for example, plans to introduce legislation this year that will require the cybersecurity czar to be confirmed by the Senate. Others still want the post to be a Cabinet-level job, and there’s legislation out there that would codify exactly that.

Schmidt has apparently been assured of enough direct contact with President Obama to give him the gravitas he needs to do the job. However, he reports to National Security Adviser James Jones, and we all know the history of the hierarchy. Previous cybersecurity czars have walked out of the job because of lack of clout.

Meanwhile, Mischel Kwon, former director of the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness team, is warning lawmakers not to give any more authority on cybersecurity matters to the Homeland Security Department. It already has too much on its plate, she says.

Posted by Brian Robinson on Dec 22, 2009 at 12:19 PM


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