[LINK] US 'Coordinated Cyber-Security Plan'

stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Sun May 31 10:05:42 AEST 2009

Obama Outlines Coordinated Cyber-Security Plan 

By DAVID E. SANGER and JOHN MARKOFF Published: May 29, 2009 

WASHINGTON — President Obama declared Friday that the country’s disparate 
efforts to “deter, prevent, detect and defend” against cyberattacks would 
now be run out of the White House, but he also promised that he would bar 
the federal government from regular monitoring of “private-sector 
networks” and the Internet traffic that has become the backbone of 
American communications.

Mr. Obama’s speech, which was accompanied by the release of a long-
awaited new government strategy, was an effort to balance the United 
States’ response to a rising security threat with concerns — echoing back 
to the debates on wiretapping without warrants in the Bush years — that 
the government would be regularly dipping into Internet traffic that knew 
no national boundaries.

One element of the strategy clearly differed from that established by the 
Bush administration in January 2008. Mr. Obama’s approach is described in 
a 38-page public document being distributed to the public and to 
companies that are most vulnerable to cyberattack; Mr. Bush’s strategy 
was entirely classified ..

James A. Lewis, a director at the Center for Strategic & International 
Studies, a Washington group that published a bipartisan report last year 
calling on the president to appoint a cyberczar, said that the White 
House had now narrowed the list of candidates for the position to fewer 
than 10, but that choosing the right person would be difficult.

“There aren’t a lot of people who have the policy and the strategy skills 
and the technological knowledge to carry this out,” Mr. Lewis said. “If 
you’re talking about missiles and space, there are a lot of people who 
know policy and technology, but in cyber its such a new field we’re 
talking about a really small gene pool.”

For the first time, Mr. Obama also spoke of his own brush with 
cyberattacks, in the presidential campaign. “Between August and October, 
hackers gained access to e-mails and a range of campaign files, from 
policy position papers to travel plans,” he said, describing events that 
were known, though sketchily, at the time.

“It was,” he said, “a powerful reminder: in this information age, one of 
your greatest strengths — in our case, our ability to communicate to a 
wide range of supporters through the Internet — could also be one of your 
greatest vulnerabilities.”

Mr. Obama’s speech delved into technology rarely discussed in the East 
Room of the White House. He referred to “spyware and malware and spoofing 
and phishing and botnets,” all different approaches to what he 
called “weapons of mass disruption.” 

Although the president did not discuss details of the expanding role for 
the military in offensive and pre-emptive cyberoperations, senior 
officials said Friday that the Pentagon planned to create a new 
cybercommand to organize and train for digital war, and to oversee 
offensive and defensive operations.



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