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2/10/2009
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Obama's Plans For Cybersecurity Draw Praise

Tech industry leaders say the administration "gets it" when it comes to protecting nation's computing infrastructure.

National security and homeland security advisers will review the federal government's cybersecurity efforts.

President Barack Obama announced Monday that Melissa Hathaway, cyber coordination executive to the director of national intelligence, would lead the 60-day interagency review. During the review, Hathaway will take on a new role as acting senior director for cyberspace for the National Security and Homeland Security councils.

She will lead the development of strategy to ensure that U.S. cybersecurity efforts are integrated and coordinated with Congress and the private sector.

"The national security and economic health of the United States depend on the security, stability, and integrity of our nation's cyberspace, both in the public and private sectors," John Brennan, the president's assistant for counterterrorism and homeland security, said in a statement from the White House. "The president is confident that we can protect our nation's critical cyber infrastructure while at the same time adhering to the rule of law and safeguarding privacy rights and civil liberties."

The move drew praise from the technology industry. Phil Lieberman, CEO of Lieberman Software, said that the United States has lacked a coordinated policy on cyberwarfare.

"The existing laws and legal precedents leave the United States vulnerable for repeated cyberattack of its domestic infrastructure without any means (legally or practically speaking) to mitigate the problem, nor any policy of how to respond in a coordinated way," he said. "Consequently, the United States infrastructure is under brutal attack, but it lacks the means to respond."

Lieberman said that the president's announcement shows that this administration "gets it" when it comes to the importance of the Internet and technology.

"The good news is that we already have the tools and talent to defend the Internet and our infrastructure, all we need are the laws, leadership, funding (tiny amounts) and will to rise to the challenge," he added.

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