Monday, December 21, 2009

White House Taps Schmidt for Cyber Security

President Barack Obama has picked Howard Schmidt to be the national cybersecurity coordinator, according to the Associated Press. Schmidt has a 40-year career in cybersecurity, spanning law enforcement, private industry and even briefly in the Bush administration.

The announcement hasn't yet been public, according to the AP, quoting a senior White House official on condition of anonymity. Obama was personally involved in the search and picked Schmidt after an extensive search. Though he won't report directly to the president, he'll have regular and direct access.

Cybersecurity is a key issue facing Obama but has taken a back seat to his health care program and the war Afghanistan.

Schmidt wrote an interesting book, covering his long career, Patrolling Cyberspace, which I enjoyed immensely. It was a nice short book packed with a lot of history about the beginnings of hacking, much of which has been forgotten. He was definitely a visionary, seeing the problem long before law enforcement took it seriously.

The book also got a favorable review from M. E. Kabay in his regular Network World column.


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