Kudos to Obama for Appointing a Cybersecurity Czar

Those who know me, know that I don’t approve of much of what the Obama Administration has done so far; however I have to give the new POTUS kudos on a job well done, by creating the position of a “Cybersecurity Czar”

President Obama spoke today about the creation of a new White House Senior Staff position, the White House Cybersecurity Coordinator.  This individual will orchestrate and integrate all cybersecurity policies for the government, work closely with the Office of Management and Budget to insure agency budgets reflect a cybersecurity priority and in the event of a major cyber incident or attack, coordinate the government’s response.  The new Cybersecurity Coordinator will be a member of both the National Security Council and the National Economic Council, a bold move if you ask me.

Obama’s previous appointments of a Federal Chief Information Officer and Federal Chief Technology Officer were a step in the right direction as these positions did not exist in previous administrations and I was very supportive of them; however by creating a “Cybersecurity Czar”, the President is sending a clear message that he is listening to the Information Technology security community and for that I have to applaud him.

Now the big question, WHO?  This position will not have to be confirmed by the Senate therefore, he can appoint anyone he chooses, and I certainly hope he chooses the right person, only time will tell.

As the President said today, “…cyberspace is real.  And so are the risks that come with it.” – something I and my colleagues have been screaming for years.

Below is a video on Cybersecurity from experts in both the public and private sectors:


* Apologies EW for Napolitano, I don’t consider her a “Cybersecurity expert” by any means, “protecting security” – exactly how do we “protect security” Madam Secretary? – ugh!  If I could have posted the video without her comments, I would have [:)]

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James A. Restucci is the author of this blog. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Internal License.

7 Responses to Kudos to Obama for Appointing a Cybersecurity Czar

  1. jimr says:

    I agree with all of you!

  2. TVNews says:

    When Eagle Watch said “Mr Obama’s track record of appointees is somewhat wanting” he spoke in understatement of record breaking proportions.

  3. EagleWatch says:

    You’re probably right, but I can’t help being uncomfortable with some unelected, unconfirmed, unaccountable political oppointee having a heavy policy hand in everything from energy and climate (pervasive cap-and-trade tax) to healthcare (nationalization) to car manufacturing (stipulating cars that we can’t sell at a profit) and beyond.

    Senator Byrd, and it pains me to say this, is right when he says that Obama’s czar-system is a flagrant evasion of the checks and balances set by the Constitution. And, as Jim points out, Mr Obama’s track record of appointees is somewhat wanting.

  4. Libby says:

    I agree with you that a cyber-security Czar is a good idea, but then I also agree with EW in that Obama is naming “Czars” left and right to oversee and solve all of the nation’s problems. If the “Czars” manage to accomplish their jobs successfully and efficiently, well GREAT! So I’m for it and against it. Hey! What do you expect from a wishy-washy-squishy liberal? LOL

  5. jimr says:

    Normally I would agree with you; however as long as he picks someone good (I know his track record isn’t that great) – but if he gets someone good, like for instance Steve Gibson (http://www.grc.com) – however I am sure Steve wouldn’t do the job, as he is has plenty on his plate. But someone Gibsonese, that is to say, someone who has forgotten more about IT security than most people will ever know, I think we will be ok.

  6. jimr says:

    Although I agree with you about their being so many; my understanding is that they are “Special Assistants to the President” and as such would be considered Senior Staff, much like Communications Director or Deputy Chief of Staff, ultimately they would answer to the Chief of Staff and in this case, the chairmans of both the National Security Council and National Economic Council.

    I would assume they would have access to FBI, CIA, DIA and IRS databases, I don’t believe the White House Staff has any Congressional Oversight.

  7. EagleWatch says:

    I have a problem with the whole idea of “Czars”, of which we now have fourteen. Where do these czars sit on seniority charts? Above cabinet officers already responsible for these activities?

    I agree with you about the seriousness of the problem, just not the wisdom of the answer. Shouldn’t this be the purview of DHS, else what’s DHS for (a whole other conversation)?

    These positions are created out of whole cloth, have portfloios undefined by law, are unaccountable to the people or their representatives, and lie outside the checks and balances between branches of government.

    Will this person be privy to FBI, CIA, DIA, IRS, etc databases? Does Congress have oversight? Does anyone outside the West Wing?