White House ditches cyber coordinator role

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The US government has killed off a top government position for cyber policy, the media were reporting earlier this week. The cyber coordinator role, set up during the Obama administration, was tasked with harmonising the government’s approach to cybersecurity and digital warfare.

According to Politico, US president’s new national security adviser, John Bolton, was pushing to cut the role, and now National Security Council staff has gotten an email confirming the move.

The email, sent by Bolton’s aide Christine Samuelian, reads: “The role of cyber coordinator will end.”

Its place will be taken by two senior directors in the NSC.

Samuelian added that “eliminating another layer of bureaucracy delivers greater ‘decision, activity, secrecy and despatch.’”

Cyber policy experts and other officials don’t see this as any form of improvement. Quite the opposite, in fact.

“I don’t see how getting rid of the top cyber official in the White House does anything to make our country safer from cyber threats,” Senate Intelligence ranking member Mark Warner (D-Va.) tweeted Tuesday.

The role of the cyber coordinator was to work with agencies and build a single strategy for challenges including security during elections, or digital deterrence. The coordinator was also present at meetings with foreign partners.

The White House is staying silent on the matter for now.

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