Friday, 17 August, 2018

White House reportedly eliminates top cybersecurity role

White House reportedly eliminates top cybersecurity role White House reportedly eliminates top cybersecurity role
Patty Aguilar | 18 May, 2018, 15:54

The Executive Cyberspace Coordination Act unveiled Tuesday would establish a national office for cyber space at the president's office and comes after Rob Joyce, the Trump administrator's cyber coordinator, resigned from his post.

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.

Under H.R. 5822, the Senate-confirmed director of the National Office for Cyberspace would be tasked with recommending security measures and budgets for federal agencies, coordinating cyberspace issues and ensuring civil liberties are upheld, and centralizing federal information infrastructure defense efforts.

In response to the council's move, Democrats in Congress have introduced legislation that would create a National Office for Cyberspace at the White House.

A similar cybersecurity coordinator role in the State Department was eliminated and subsequently reinstated by then-Secretary of State Tillerson late previous year following congressional backlash, and Senate legislation to make the position permanent is pending. An internal email obtained by reporters revealed the effort was supposedly meant to "streamline authority", as the National Security Council already had "two senior directors".

Image Ted Lieu

The email, sent by Bolton's aide Christine Samuelian, reads: "The role of cyber coordinator will end".

The coordinator reportedly dealt with such timely issues as election security and digital warfare.

"It is an enormous step backwards to deemphasize the importance of this growing domain within the White House", said Langevin, who is co-chair of the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus. The coordinator also represented the administration in meetings with foreign partners and at conferences and other public events.

"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", Senate Intelligence ranking member Mark Warner (D-Va.) tweeted Tuesday.

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