[LINK] US cybersecurity

stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Fri Jan 16 20:08:22 AEDT 2009

DHS nominee stresses cybersecurity, border technology

By Ben BainJan 15, 2009 

Janet Napolitano, President-elect Barack Obama’s nominee to head the 
Homeland Security Department, today stressed the importance of 
cybersecurity and using technology in border security during her 
confirmation hearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental 
Affairs Committee.

DHS has a leadership role in protecting the nation’s information 
technology infrastructure and the government’s civilian cyber networks, 
in addition to overseeing  border security and immigration issues..

The department also oversees billions of dollars in grants that go to 
state and local authorities each year and federal emergency response 
efforts. If confirmed by the Senate, Napolitano, Arizona’s governor, 
would head a department with approximately 200,000 employees.

That department plays a key role in the Comprehensive National 
Cybersecurity Initiative started by the Bush administration in January 

Napolitano said cybersecurity involves not only DHS but also the Defense 
Department, intelligence agencies and others. She added that DHS has a 
central role to play in the effort.

“I think this is an area where I’m going to want to plow very deeply very 
quickly,” she said, adding that Obama has said several times that 
cybersecurity is an area in which he wants a national strategy and 
coordinating plan.

She added that as attorney general of Arizona she created a cyber crime 
unit. Meanwhile, much of the hearing focused on Napolitano’s approach to 
immigration and border security as governor of a border state.

To secure the border with Mexico, she urged a mix of personnel, 
technology, physical barriers and interior enforcement. In particular, 
she said technology had a key role in securing the border by augmenting 
efforts by federal officers.

Securing the border “requires technology, it requires things like ground 
sensors,” she said. “The SBInet [a program to use technplgy to secure the 
border], which has had a problematic start, is something...[that] could 
hold great promise and we want to keep pushing the issue of 
technology.... We need to be able to augment manpower with technology.”

Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), the committee’s chairman, said he hoped 
that the Senate would vote to confirm her quickly. (end quote)

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