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Reports: Obama to tap intel official for cyber post
Published: 2009-02-09

The Obama Administration plans to assign a top cybersecurity advisor from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to oversee a review of the United States' cybersecurity efforts and potentially become the nation's cybersecurity czar, according to media reports.

The assignment, which could happen this week, will put Melissa Hathaway, the cyber coordination executive for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), on the fast track to become the United States' top cybersecurity strategist, according to a report by NextGov. Hathaway helped develop the Bush Administration's Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative (CNCI) as part of the National Cyber Studies Group and is the director of the Joint Interagency Cyber Joint Task Force.

During an opinion piece published last year, Hathaway argued that the U.S. government must foster international cooperation on cybersecurity issues and develop a new relationship with the private industries that control the cyber infrastructure.

"When it comes to cyber security, government and the private sector need to recognize that an individual vulnerability is a common weakness," she wrote. "There's time, though not unlimited time, to get the job done. We must make a continuing public commitment to securing cyber space — and we must do so now."

Last month, President Barack Obama pledged to appoint a top cybersecurity advisor who would directly advise him on issues of national cybersecurity. The post was one of the recommendations made by a non-partisan group of industry, government and academic experts in December.

The review will last 60 days, at the end of which, a cyber czar will be appointed, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal (registration required).

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Posted by: Robert Lemos
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