Obama to create ‘Cyber Czar’ to protect computer networks in US

May 26th, 2009 - 2:26 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, May 26 (ANI): Reports indicate that US President Barrack Obama is planning to create a “cyber czar,” a senior White House official who will have broad authority to develop strategy to protect the nation’s government-run and private computer networks.

According to a report in the Washington Post, the adviser will have the most comprehensive mandate granted to such an official to date and will probably be a member of the National Security Council.

But, he will report to the national security adviser as well as the senior White House economic adviser, according to the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deliberations are not final.

The announcement will coincide with the long-anticipated release of a 40-page report that evaluates the US government’s cybersecurity initiatives and policies.

The report is intended to outline a “strategic vision” and the range of issues the new adviser must handle, but it will not delve into details, administration officials told reporters last month.

Cybersecurity “is vitally important, and the government needs to be coordinated on this,” said a White House official, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

“The report gives conclusions and next steps. It’s trying to steer us in the right direction,” he said.

Sources say Obama was briefed a week ago and signed off on the creation of the position. But, discussions are continuing as to what rank and title the adviser would have.

The idea is to name someone who can “pick up the phone and contact the president directly, if need be,” an administration official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

Obama pledged during his presidential campaign to elevate the issue of cybersecurity to a “top priority” and to appoint a national cybersecurity adviser “who will report directly to me.”

Sources said that having the adviser report to both the national security and economic advisers suggests that the White House is seeking to ensure a balance between homeland security and economic concerns. (ANI)

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