The high-tech sector is growing restless as it awaits President Obama's appointment of a White House cybersecurity coordinator. In one of the most recent displays of that frustration, the trade group TechAmerica wrote to Obama urging him to name "a qualified, credible, senior level official... at the earliest possible opportunity." While he tends to other priorities, bad actors around the world are not sitting idly by, the Friday letter stated. "Those that would seek to harm America by exploiting our digital infrastructure continue to increase their efforts," the group said.
Ideally, the cyber czar would have relevant experience in both government and industry in order to truly reflect the shared roles and responsibilities in cybersecurity, TechAmerica President Phil Bond wrote. The letter came on the heels of a series of meetings in Washington in which industry executives sought to impress upon members of Congress and administration officials the importance of strong cooperation between industry and governments at the national and international levels in securing cyberspace.
Also on Friday, Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Joseph Lieberman outlined his plans for cybersecurity legislation, which will support the naming of a White House coordinator. Lieberman's backing for the adviser, which some have called a cybersecurity "czar," puts him at odds with the top Republican on his committee, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. But he said he is in talks with Collins over the legislation and hopes to get her support for a bill they can introduce as co-sponsors by December.
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