By Stephanie Condon
Politics and Law
March 20, 2009
Forthcoming legislation would wrest cybersecurity responsibilities from
the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and transfer them to the White
House, a proposed move that likely will draw objections from industry
groups and some conservatives.
CNET News has obtained a summary of a proposal from Senators Jay
Rockefeller (D-W.V.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) that would create an
Office of the National Cybersecurity Advisor, part of the Executive
Office of the President. That office would receive the power to
disconnect, if it believes they're at risk of a cyberattack, "critical"
computer networks from the Internet.
"I regard this as a profoundly and deeply troubling problem to which we
are not paying much attention," Rockefeller said a hearing this week,
referring to cybersecurity.
Giving the White House cybersecurity responsibility was one of the top
recommendations of a commission that produced a report last year to
advise President Obama on cybersecurity issues. However, the Homeland
Security Department, which currently has jurisdiction over
cybersecurity, has insisted the reshuffling of duties is not needed.
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