Published: Fri, May 18, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Democratic bill would reinstate White House cybersecurity office shuttered by Bolton

Democratic bill would reinstate White House cybersecurity office shuttered by Bolton

"Today's actions continue an effort to empower National Security Council senior directors".

The decision was made by John Bolton, the most recent National Security Advisor of the United States, after both Tom Bossert, the homeland security adviser to the president and cybersecurity czar, resigned in early April and Rob Joyce, special assistant to the President and Cybersecurity Coordinator on the National Security Council, left the post to return to the National Security Agency, where he used to head the agency's Tailored Access Operations (TAO) hacking unit.

Langevin emphasized the need for a "designated expert to harmonize cyber policy" due to the many cybersecurity challenges the country faces, "whether during major incidents or when establishing norms of responsible state behavior in cyberspace".

A similar cybersecurity coordinator role in the State Department was eliminated and subsequently reinstated by then-Secretary of State Tillerson late a year ago following congressional backlash, and Senate legislation to make the position permanent is pending.

According to Politico, he is not going to be replaced, because the National Security Council already has other executives monitoring cyber matters and thinks the White House role is an unnecessary layer of bureaucracy.

Politico first reported earlier on Tuesday that the position had been scrapped, citing an email from an aide to national security adviser John Bolton that was sent to NSC employees, and provided to the newspaper by a former usa official. Bolton ultimately made a decision to scrap the coordinator role.

Jim Langevin
Jim Langevin Verified account @JimLangevin

Reps. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) and Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) have introduced a bill that would make the cybersecurity coordinator role permanent in the White House, Federal Times reported Wednesday.

"We should be investing in our nation's cyber defense, not rolling it back".

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), the top Democrat on the Senate Intel Committee, also blasted the idea on Tuesday.

Bolton's decision to slash the cyber coordinator position is especially curious considering the timing.

Added former Obama administration cyber-policy adviser Ash Carter, "If you're covered in gasoline, be careful throwing matches".

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