Homeland security plan draws fire

Critics describe the Bush administration's updated strategy as vague and 'squishy.'

When the White House released an updated National Strategy for Homeland Security last week, a reporter asked, “Where’s the beef?”It’s in a strategy document written in 2002. Frances Townsend, assistant to the president for counterterrorism and homeland security, said the updated document purposely steps back from operational details to offer a longer-range view. “It says, ‘Having built many of those capabilities, what additional actions over the long term do we need to build to ensure the strength and continuing vitality of the homeland security effort in this country?’” Townsend said last week at a news conference on the updated strategy. She added that the plan is not about what the government should do next year but what federal agencies should do over time to close homeland security gaps.Experts at both ends of the political spectrum said the updated strategy lingers on old themes and offers few new concepts. Also, the strategy doesn’t fully address the problem of cyberattacks that could cripple the government’s response to a national security crisis, critics said. Many essential and emergency services rely on the uninterrupted use of the Internet. More importantly, terrorists and hostile foreign governments can access the Internet and use it for their own gain, the document states. White House officials said the federal government is improving cybersecurity. To secure the U.S. cyber infrastructure against man-made and natural threats, federal, state and local governments and the private sector are working together to prevent damage and abuse of Internet systems, the document states. But for anyone interested in more details, the updated strategy refers to the Bush administration’s nearly five-year-old National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace.Lawmakers say the administration’s strategy must do more than offer generalized statements about how to secure the Internet because it has grown significantly since February 2003, when the White House released its first cybersecurity plan.Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.), chairman of the Homeland Security Committee’s Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, and Science and Technology Subcommittee, said he was dismayed but not surprised. “This report fails to address the urgent need to close cyber loopholes across all levels of government and the private sector,” he said. “Analyzing the challenges of our nation’s cyber infrastructure deserves more than a sidebar in a document of this stature.”Paul Kurtz, former senior director of national security at the Office of Cyberspace Security and now partner at Good Harbor Consulting, said the small amount of attention given to cybersecurity signals deeper problems. The strategy demonstrates that the administration has not made any real progress on cybersecurity and resilient communications. James Lewis, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the strategy leads to no specific action plans. “This strategy is squishy,” he said.Lewis said he would advise the administration to return to the fundamentals by identifying the essential infrastructures that the country must have to continue operating and figure out how to protect them from attack.

DHS' workforce needs

The Homeland Security Department has published a draft framework that describes the knowledge and skills the federal information technology workforce must have to safeguard the country from cyberattacks. The document is not a directive, DHS officials said in a Federal Register notice accompanying its release.

The purpose of the framework is “to ensure that we have the most qualified and appropriately trained IT security workforce possible,” said Greg Garcia, DHS’ assistant secretary for cybersecurity and communications, in a statement last week.

— Brian Robinson

























X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.