White House ditches cyber coordinator role

White House ditches cyber coordinator role

White House ditches cyber coordinator role

Politico, The Hill and CNN report that the Trump adminstration has eliminated the White House position of cybersecurity coordinator, a role President Obama first established in 2009, at a time when hacks and cybersecurity threats weren't as commonplace as they are today. Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Ted Lieu (D-CA) introduced, would create a permanent director of cybersecurity policy within the White House, a position that would coordinate cyber policy measures across the many government agencies and recommend security measures and budgets for those agencies, in collaboration with the administration.

The announcement said the cyber coordinator job would end as Rob Joyce, the latest to hold the post, returned to the National Security Agency. Critics urged the president to appoint a successor, but the NSC email says scratching the position eliminates a layer of bureaucracy.

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The internal announcement said the elimination of the cyber role, just weeks into the tenure of national security adviser John Bolton, was part of an effort to "streamline authority for National Security Council Senior Directors".

Against the backdrop of Joyce's decision to leave the coordinator role and return to the National Security Agency, a power struggle over cybersecurity leadership at the National Security Council has ensued. "It is an enormous step backwards to deemphasize this growing challenge".

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Mark Warner, ranking Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee, said the administration should be "investing in our nation's cyber defense, not rolling it back".

The US government has killed off a top government position for cyber policy, the media were reporting earlier this week. We also need to articulate a clear cyber doctrine. "I don't see how getting rid of the top cyber official in the White House does anything to make our country safer from cyber threats".

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The White House is staying silent on the matter for now. Forming a cohesive cyber defense strategy has become almost impossible as hundreds of departments report into a siloed set of decision makers.

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