- Obama’s regulatory agenda will cost U.S. economy $143B next year: report
- Patriot Act author on James Clapper: Fire, prosecute him
- Russia P.M. Medvedev: No amnesty for political prisoners
- Michigan GOP Senate hopeful reminds government is the ‘servant’
- Christmas, by Congress: Members mull a 15-cent tax on trees
- U.S. unemployment falls to five-year low of 7 percent; 203K jobs added
- World mourns Nelson Mandela and celebrates his life; burial set for Dec. 15
- Bill O’Reilly reminds: Nelson Mandela ‘was a communist’
- John Boehner says GOP should support gay candidates: ‘I do’
- Grass-Whopper: Pan-fried cricket burgers go over big in New York City
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 ...
- Britain eyes new powers to thwart Islamic extremists
- In global op, feds help seize websites selling fake goods
- Privacy board springs to life after NSA revelations
- Morocco trains 500 imams to counter spread of radical Islam
- Rice promises 'progressive' Asia tilt on women's rights, climate change
Latest Blog Entries
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Colorado judge: Bakery owner discriminated against gay couple
- Kill team: Obama war chiefs widen drone death zones
- Rush Limbaugh: Obama trying to make Mandela death about himself
- Obama administration issues permits for wind farms to kill more eagles
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- Obamas call to close Vatican embassy is 'slap in the face' to Roman Catholics
- MILLER: Obamacare enrollees include 101 members of the House of Representatives
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
The Constitution: Every issue, every time. No exceptions, no excuses. And how to get from here to there.
Why can’t humans just be free to be humans?
Get in the middle of all the action inside and outside the boxing ring.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
White House pets gone wild!