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U.S. Cybersecurity Director Quits, Cites DHS/NSA Turf War

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  • U.S. Cybersecurity Director Quits, Cites DHS/NSA Turf War

    U.S. cybersecurity director quits, cites DHS/NSA turf war
    Paul Boutin, The Industry Standard03.09.2009

    Rod Beckström, who was appointed director of the National Cyber Security Center a year ago, resigned on Friday, blaming a turf war within the U.S. government.

    The NCSC's role within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is to prevent attacks on government information systems.The NCSC's role is to monitor systems belonging to the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, the National Security Agency, and the FBI.

    As Wired reports, Beckström resigned a day after President Obama's new director of national intelligence, Admiral Dennis Blair, told Congress that the National Security Agency (NSA), not the DHS, should be in charge of cybersecurity.

    Beckström's resignation letter blunty criticizes the NSA for what Beckström feels is already too powerful a role in controlling the NCSC through policy and politics. "The intelligence culture," he wrote, referring to the NSA, "is very different than a network operations or security culture."

    "In addition, the threats to our democratic processes are significant if all top level government network security and monitoring are handled by one organization (either directly or indirectly.)"

    Beckström also criticized the Department of Homeland Security: "The NCSC did not receive appropriate support inside DHS during the last administration ... During the past year the NCSC received only five weeks of funding."