By Ellen Nakashima
Washington Post Staff Writer
August 8, 2009
A top operational official in charge of protecting civilian government
computer networks has resigned, dealing another blow to the federal
effort to enhance cybersecurity.
Mischel Kwon, the director of the Department of Homeland Security's U.S.
Computer Emergency Readiness Team, submitted her resignation letter this
week. "Moving on is a hard step for me, but one I must take," she said,
according to the letter obtained by The Washington Post.
Kwon, who is the fourth US-CERT director in five years, was frustrated
by bureaucratic obstacles and a lack of authority to fulfill her
mission, according to colleagues who spoke on the condition of
anonymity. Her departure follows the resignation of the lead White House
cybersecurity official, Melissa E. Hathaway, who said last week that she
would step down.
In March, another Homeland Security cybersecurity official, Rod
Beckstrom, resigned, citing a lack of support inside the agency and what
he described as a power grab by the National Security Agency.
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