Sunday, June 07, 2009

Czar Power

Since the election, there has been speculation about the kind of person that President Obama would choose to fill the role of "CyberCzar" to advise the Chief Executive about appropriate policies on network security and head up initiatives to police the Web. In stories like "Seeking Obama's Cyber Czar" and "Security experts sound off on Obama's cyber czar," it seemed that everyone had an opinion. Some believed that the president has already made a decision about who would fill the post as early as December, and many expected the pick to be announced at the end of May.

In "Remarks by the President on Securing our Nation's Cyber Infrastructure," however, many were surprised to have no announcement of an appointment to address the fact that there is no "single official" who "oversees cybersecurity policy across the federal government, and no single agency has the responsibility or authority to match the scope and scale of the challenge. "

Obama also describes his own feeling of "violation" when faced with stealthy attacks by hackers on websites associated with his candidacy in the 2008 election.

I know how it feels to have privacy violated because it has happened to me and the people around me. It's no secret that my presidential campaign harnessed the Internet and technology to transform our politics. What isn't widely known is that during the general election hackers managed to penetrate our computer systems. To all of you who donated to our campaign, I want you to all rest assured, our fundraising website was untouched. (Laughter.) So your confidential personal and financial information was protected.

But between August and October, hackers gained access to emails and a range of campaign files, from policy position papers to travel plans. And we worked closely with the CIA -- with the FBI and the Secret Service and hired security consultants to restore the security of our systems. It was a powerful reminder: In this Information Age, one of your greatest strengths -- in our case, our ability to communicate to a wide range of supporters through the Internet -- could also be one of your greatest vulnerabilities.

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Blogger bob c said...

It behooves us to move Cyber concerns, like security, etc., to a lead place in the line of our "critical things to do list". I know many people in sensitive positions that mute their public rhetoric about the vital importance of this issue so as not frighten people or give away secrets. Though, like many people, some are "turf protectors". "We need to secure our Cyber borders first" should be the loudest political slogan. The people need this not to be slighted in their minds, rather "updated" to keep pace with reality. We can take it!

4:34 AM  

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