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Eye Opener: The cybersecurity debate intensifies

By Ed O'Keefe

Eye Opener

Happy Monday! (Unless you're the New York Giants.) Congressional debate over how the government should ward off future cybersecurity attacks continues Monday, as a leading Republican lawmaker will propose giving the Homeland Security Department the lead on the government's efforts to combat dangerous, expensive computer attacks.

"Effectively managing government cybersecurity is going to require more than a few staff crammed into a cubicle in the depths of the White House," Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) will say today at a symposium on cyber deterrence co-hosted by George Washington University's Homeland Security Policy Institute and the Intelligence and National Security Alliance.

Her views, according to prepared remarks, differ from Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.), who chairs the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. On Friday Lieberman said he wants the government's cybersecurity efforts placed under a Senate-confirmed White House official that would oversee efforts to protect the government's civilian and private-sector computer networks.

But, "DHS is already the department within the federal government building partnership with the private sector to secure our critical infrastructure and key resources," Collins will say. She wants the government to establish a "cybersecurity center" at DHS "with a strong and empowered leader [who] will close the coordination gaps that currently exist in our disjointed federal efforts." The new director would also serve as the president's principal adviser on cybersecurity and report directly to the secretary of homeland security. The National Security Agency would also play a role, but could not lead the efforts because of its privacy and civil liberties concerns, Collins will argue.

Cybersecurity is of such great concern that President Obama proclaimed October as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and called the government cybersecurity efforts "a national security priority." The White House conducted a 60-day cybersecurity review earlier this year, but still lacks a candidate to serve as "cybersecurity czar."

As The Eye wrote on Friday, the disagreement between Lieberman and Collins on this issue is notable since they've maintained a close and virtually nonpartisan working relationship as the chairman and ranking member on the Homeland Security committee. And their views also differ with Sens. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W. Va.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), who introduced a bill earlier this year that would establish a national cybersecurity adviser reporting directly to the president and give less oversight and responsibility to DHS.

All of this means there's a still a long way to go before the government establishes a cybersecurity consensus.

What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

Big Economic Meeting Monday: After President Obama holds a meeting with top advisers on the economic stimulus, National Economic Council Director Lawrence H. Summers will chair a principals-level meeting of the National Economic Council, which includes Domestic Policy Adviser Melody Barnes, top Economic and Climate Adviser Carol Browner, Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, Export-Important Bank Chairman Fred Hochberg, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, National Security Adviser James Jones, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, Vice Presidential Chief of Staff Ron Klain, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, SBA Administrator Karen Mills, OMB Director Peter Orszag, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

Other Cabinet and Staff News: Geithner says the economy is growing. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says H1N1 shots catching up to demand. Palestinians accuse Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton of undermining the Middle East peace process. David Axelrod and Jarrett make the Sunday show rounds.

1,600 are suggested daily for FBI's list: The ever-churning list is said to contain more than 400,000 unique names and over 1 million entries. Are you on it?

Documents detail conditions found at secret CIA jails: They include handwritten notes, apparently prepared by Justice Department officials, discussing the possibility of prosecuting some employees of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Bongs and hairballs: Museums you haven’t heard about: There are plenty of obscure museums in the federal world, including one that displays Michael Jackson's patent for the "Moon Walk."

Search called off for 9 missing after crash: Officials said Sunday they did not expect to find survivors among the seven Coast Guard members and two Marines missing since their aircraft collided in a ball of fire Thursday off the coast of San Diego.

NASA launches mission to track polar ice by plane: Climate scientists are about to lose a NASA satellite that's been monitoring the Earth's polar ice caps since 2003. And a replacement won't be in orbit until at least 2015.

SES: attracting young blood a must: Compensation and ensuring that younger recruits feel they have a role are key, says one leader.

18,000 employees accept Postal Service buyout: The final tally of buyout acceptances from each job category isn't available yet and it's also too soon to determine the agency's savings as a result of the buyout.

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By Ed O'Keefe  | November 2, 2009; 5:50 AM ET
Categories:  Eye Opener  
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Comments

Crisis in Germany

Despite the violation of human rights the Merkle wants to be elected once again.

The Merkle has established an atmosphere of fear and intimidation in Germany. Since 2005 the Merkle has drastically deteoriated the German human right situation particurlarly due to the BKA bill. Beside that, the Merkle systematically thwarts the criminal prosecution of the perpetrators of human right violations.

In Germany civic rights are completely eroded and the constitutional remainders are factually abrogated. Still politicians of the CDU - and the Merkle of course - deny the drastic degradation of human rights in Germany.

Posted by: jps-mm | November 2, 2009 7:05 AM | Report abuse

The post above confuses me. The post above doesn't seem to have to do with the article. The post reminds me of Bob Dole, Bob Dole......Bob Dole

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lXh2n0aPyw

Posted by: capsfan55 | November 2, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Correction:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qIrK-0wtuI

Posted by: capsfan55 | November 2, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

DHS already has too many agencies to oversee and which it doesn't seem to do well. Adding one more (important as it is) might just tip DHS into the abyss on which it already teeters. A separate agency please.

Posted by: manv | November 2, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

I just want to get as far away from their cyber-ineptitude as possible.

Posted by: Nymous | November 2, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

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