Friday, October 01, 2004

Richard Clarke's Old Post Is Vacant Again 

Another implicit endorsement for Kerry, from the Washington Post (via our wholly admirable colleague Rorschach at No Capital):
The nation's top cyber-security official resigned unexpectedly on Thursday, raising new questions about the progress of efforts to protect the nation's vast computer networks from terror attacks, electronic viruses and other threats, government and industry officials said yesterday.

Amit Yoran, a security industry entrepreneur, stepped down one year after he was hired by homeland security officials with a broad mandate to reinvigorate Bush administration efforts to improve the way government and industry address computer security.

Yoran is the third cyber-security chief to leave in less than two years. He declined yesterday to say why he left his post after giving just one day's notice. But industry officials said he had been disappointed that he was not given as much authority as he was promised to attack the problem.

"Cyber-security has fallen down on that totem pole," said Paul Kurtz, executive director of the Cyber Security Industry Alliance, who previously worked on security issues in the White House. Kurtz said Yoran's resignation underscores a concern in the private sector that government is not taking the issue seriously enough: "It's kind of symptomatic of the frustration all around" . . . .

When the office was folded into the Department of Homeland Security, industry officials pushed for the director to be an assistant secretary level position with direct access to Secretary Tom Ridge. Instead it was placed several steps down, in a job that answers to Robert P. Liscouski, assistant secretary for infrastructure protection. The division has a staff of 60 and a $69 million budget this year.

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