Security Bytes

Sep 9 2009   8:04PM GMT

Reuters: Obama ready to select cyber security czar

Robert Westervelt Robert Westervelt Profile: Robert Westervelt


Reuters reported Wednesday that Frank Kramer, a former assistant Defense secretary under President Bill Clinton. is the lead candidate, according to an unidentified source.

Citing sources close to the matter, Reuters reported today that President Barak Obama is expected to name a security coordinator “in the next week or two.”

U.S. chief technology officer Aneesh Chopra told reporters at a technology conference on Wednesday that he had interviewed candidates for the position, and that a coordinator would be named in the not too distant future.

Reuters calls the lead candidate, Frank Kramer, a former assistant Defense secretary under President Bill Clinton. If this is the case, Kramer signals the need for an international focus on cybercrime. He has been involved in international affairs since the 1970s and turned his focus on technology as a research fellow at the Center for Technology and National Security Policy, part of the National Defense University – which has focused on national security policy and military plans when it comes to understanding technology and policy.

Obama had announced the creation of a White House senior cybersecurity coordinator position in May. Since then a number of names had surfaced as candidates for the position including former Republican U.S. Congressman Tom Davis. Several top cybersecurity officials also stepped down since then, including Melissa Hathaway, Obama’s top adviser on security who spearheaded the 60-day review helping shape the administration’s position on cybersecurity. Last month, Mischel Kwon, the director of US-CERT, the Department of Homeland Security’s research and response unit also resigned.

While it has taken more than three months to name a person to the position, experts say it’s going to take years to realign and coordinate all the different facets of the position, let alone setting priorities that result in bolstering federal cybersecurity.

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