Friday, May 29, 2009

President announces plan for "securing our digital future"


President Obama has announced that he will create an office of cybersecurity. A recent position paper “Cyberspace Policy Review: Assuring a Trusted and Resilient Information and Communications Infrastructure” is available from Wired (PDF) and starts with an executive summary emphasizing the idea that government must have a well-structured plan and be proactive in protecting the nation’s cyber intrastructure.

The White House Cybereview blog (URL) has a video “Securing our Digital Future” hosted by Melissa Hathaway, Cybersecurity Chief at the National Security Council. The Whitehouse blog also has a text of the President’s remarks March 29 here.

The president described the new office at the White House, to be led by the Cybersecurity Coordinator, and to be matrixed into his National Security Staff and various other agencies. The organization sounds complex in his speech, but I’ve seen such “matrix management” in corporate America many times before.

One of the most important statements in the president’s speech today is a reassurance:

"Let me also be clear about what we will not do. Our pursuit of cybersecurity will not -- I repeat, will not include -- monitoring private sector networks or Internet traffic. We will preserve and protect the personal privacy and civil liberties that we cherish as Americans. Indeed, I remain firmly committed to net neutrality so we can keep the Internet as it should be -- open and free."

Cam Simpson and August Cole have a Wall Street Journal story today "Obama Says U.S. Data Systems Under Constant Attack: President to Name Cyber Chief, but Details Are Scarce", link here.

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