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Debate Over Cybersecurity Czar Rages

According to the Washington Post (“Obama Aides Debate Role of Proposed Cyber Czar, ” May 13, 2009), there is a debate taking place within the Obama administration over the President’s proposed cybersecurity czar. Military, intelligence, and security officials are arguing that the new advisor should be established under the National Security Council. However, other officials argue the position should also report to the National Economic Council, so that the czar might work with the private sector more easily.

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Jim Lewis - CSIS

There has also been vigorous debate over how much power to allot to the new position, calculated by “closeness to the president, staff, budget authority and ability to reach into the operations of government departments and the private sector.” James A. Lewis, who directed a commission formed by the Center for Strategic and International Studies and recently said in an interview with ExecutiveBiz, the weekly eMagazine for government contracting executives, that he has recommended Obama “appoint an assistant and set up a National Office for Cyberspace to oversee the intelligence community’s and Homeland Security Department’s cyber operations. According to the Washington Post’s sources, “A decision could come as early as next week.” You can read the full article here.

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