- Black Friday brouhaha: Millions of Target shoppers hit by credit card theft
- Britain orders airplane to rescue citizens from violent South Sudan
- Mega Millions winner emerges as Georgia mom, in ‘disbelief’
- ‘Duck Dynasty’ Phil Robertson suspended ‘indefinitely’ for gay comments
- John Podesta eats crow: ‘I apologize to Speaker Boehner’
- U.S., China race to finish line on ‘invisibility cloak’
- Obama ‘cavalier’ in hiding foreign aid order, judge rules
- Prince Charles: Muslims are driving Christians from Mideast through persecution
- Gitmo’s first commander: Close the prison down
- Google’s newest photography find: Just wink and shoot
White House puts report on cybersecurity on hold
Question of the Day
The Obama administration is sitting on a report about the security of federal government computer networks because it is embarrassing, a senior Republican senator said Thursday.
The annual report from the White House Office of Management and Budget was due March 1, Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma told a joint hearing of the homeland security and commerce committees on U.S. cybersecurity.
“There’s no reason for [the delay], other than [the report] shows significant criticism” of the government’s performance in keeping federal computer networks secure, he said.
Mr. Coburn noted that past reports have faulted the government for failing to comply with the law and has revealed flaws and gaps in the security of the computer networks.
U.S. intelligence and defense officials say criminals and hackers, as well as foreign spy agencies and military units, probe federal computer networks millions of times a year.
The Federal Information Security Management Act sets standards for cybersecurity across the government and mandates the March 1 annual report from the Office of Management and Budget about levels of compliance with the law. The office did not respond to requests for comment about the delay.
Since its establishment in 2009, Homeland Security’s National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center has responded to nearly half a million incident reports and released more than 26,000 “actionable cybersecurity alerts” to state and local governments and private sector companies, she said.
Noting that Homeland Security now employs more federal law enforcement agents than any other government department or agency, she added that the department’s cybercops had “prevented $10 billion in potential losses through cybercrime investigations and arrested more than 5,000” suspected cyber criminals.
Patrick D. Gallagher, undersecretary of commerce, explained how a special unit of the Commerce Department, the National Institute for Science and Technology, is helping draw up a cybersecurity framework that private companies running vital U.S. industries such as banks, utilities and telecommunications can use to make sure their computer systems are secure.
He said President Obama issued an executive order giving the institute that responsibility last month, after Congress failed for the fifth year in a row to pass cybersecurity legislation.
“We’re technical, and we’re not in charge of anything,” he said, adding that his approach to the issue was to get “industry and the critical infrastructure community [to] put the framework together themselves.”
A cybersecurity bill failed last year because Congress was deadlocked over the issue of liability protection for the private sector.
Sen. Thomas R. Carper, chairman of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, said legislation is still needed to “fill in the gaps” left by the president’s order.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Shaun Waterman is an award-winning reporter for The Washington Times, covering foreign affairs, defense and cybersecurity. He was a senior editor and correspondent for United Press International for nearly a decade, and has covered the Department of Homeland Security since 2003. His reporting on the Sept. 11 Commission and the tortuous process by which some of its recommendations finally became ...
- Senator's memo shows Iran links in Homeland Security's troubled immigration program
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- Negotiators skirt customs, make flights easier from UAE to U.S.
- Dems back bill to fix problems in investor visa program
- Democrats proceed with Mayorkas vote despite pending investigation
Latest Blog Entries
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Fourth Amendment says Obama is not at liberty to collect metadata
- U.S. Army mulls wiping out memory of Robert E. Lee, 'Stonewall' Jackson
- Half of America strips religion from Christmas
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
- BOLTON: Nero in the White House
- Sen. Max Baucus: Obamas choice for China ambassador
- Obama's own panel rips NSA spying on phone calls of Americans
- President gets budget win -- but only by staying out of negotiations
- Armed response, not restrictive gun laws, brought swift end to school shooting
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- NAPOLITANO: NSA spies pick up interference from the Constitution
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Right-brain investing in a left-brain world. You can do it. I can help.
News and views on the Civil War.
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow