By Declan McCullagh
Politics and Law
May 29, 2009
The U.S. president has announced a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy
for the federal government, saying Internet-based threats have risen
"dramatically" and the country "must act to reduce our vulnerabilities."
A 76-page White House document calls for a new way of looking at
Internet and computer security, saying that private-public partnerships
are necessary, collaboration with international organizations will be
vital, and privacy and civil liberties must be respected in the process.
Sound familiar? The year was 2003, and the president was George W. Bush,
who wrote the introduction to what he called a "National Strategy to
On Friday, President Obama announced his 76-page "Cyberspace Policy
Review"--with precisely the same number of pages as his
predecessor's--at an event at the White House.
While the Bush document discusses centralizing cybersecurity
responsibilities in the Department of Homeland Security and the Obama
document shifts them to the White House, the two reports are remarkably
similar. Perhaps this should be no surprise: Obama selected Melissa
Hathaway, who worked for the director of national intelligence in the
Bush administration and was director of an Bush-era "Cyber Task Force,"
to conduct the review.
To test your political acumen, we've taken excerpts from both and placed
them side by side in the following chart. Can you tell which quotations
come from which administration? (An answer key is at the end.)
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