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Cybersecurity Chief Resigns

Cybersecurity Chief Resigns
Cybersecurity Chief Resigns 

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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