Washington, Feb.10 (ANI): The White House announced on Monday that it would conduct a review of the nation's cyber security to "ensure that U.S. Government cyber security initiatives are appropriately integrated, resourced and coordinated with Congress and the private sector."
According to a release, the announcement comes less than a week after President Obama's pick to lead the Central Intelligence Agency, Leon Panetta, raised the issue of protecting vital national security interests online during a hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
During the hearing, Panetta uttered the phrase "cyber-attack" in the same breath as such threats as al Qaeda and the potential of a nuclear-armed North Korea.
The 60-day inter-agency review will include advisors from the National and Homeland Security Councils and will be led by Melissa Hathaway, who served as Cyber Coordination Executive to the Director of National Intelligence under President Bush.
In the Obama administration, Hathaway will get a new title - albeit an equally obtuse one - as Acting Senior Director for Cyberspace for the National Security and Homeland Security Councils.
Obama's appointment of Hathaway fulfills a promise he made on the campaign trail last summer.
"We need to prevent terrorists or spies from hacking into our national security networks," he said in a July 16, 2008, speech in Indiana.
"We need to build the capacity to identify, isolate and respond to any cyber-attack. And we need to develop new standards for the cyber-security that protects our most important infrastructure - from electrical grids to sewage systems; from air traffic control to our markets," he added.
The review announced today is aimed at achieving those goals, without trampling privacy rights, according to the announcement.
"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. 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," said Assistant to the President for Counterterrorism and Homeland Security John Brennan. (ANI)