By SIOBHAN GORMAN
Wall Street Journal
MARCH 7, 2009
WASHINGTON -- The government's coordinator for cybersecurity programs
has quit, criticizing what he described as the National Security
Agency's grip on cybersecurity.
Rod Beckstrom, a former Silicon Valley entrepreneur, said in his
resignation letter that the NSA's central role in cybersecurity is "a
bad strategy" because it is important to have a civilian agency taking a
key role in the issue. The NSA is part of the Department of Defense.
(Read Mr. Beckstrom's resignation letter.)
The power battles Mr. Beckstrom describes in his resignation letter
illustrate the challenges ahead for the Obama administration as it plans
its defense against governments and terrorists who might try to disrupt
U.S. computer systems, cybersecurity specialists said. One issue is what
part or parts of the government should lead the effort.
The Bush administration last year started a cybersecurity initiative to
protect government networks, which was estimated to cost at least $6
billion in 2009 and $30 to $40 billion over the next several years. The
Obama administration is conducting a 60-day review of that effort and
related policies. The reviewers, led by the official who started the
cyber initiative for the Bush administration, are expected to issue
recommendations next month.
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