Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Cybersecurity Review Turf Battle

Many at RSA commented on the lack of content in Melissa Hathaway’s RSA keynote. The Wall St Journal has an interesting article which may explain why, “Cybersecurity Review Sets Turf Battle:”

President Barack Obama’s cybersecurity review has ignited turf battles inside the White House, with economic adviser Lawrence Summers weighing in to prevent what he sees as a potential threat to economic growth, according to people familiar with the deliberations.

During the presidential campaign, Mr. Obama said he would appoint a cybersecurity adviser who would report directly to him on efforts to secure U.S. computer networks against spies, criminals and terrorists.

However, a White House review of cybersecurity policy has produced spirited debate on how high the adviser should rank and who should have veto power over his or her moves. A senior administration official called the debate an example of “creative tension,” adding: “Far from being concerned about creative tension, I think this president and this team welcomes it…because, quite frankly, we’ve got to get this right.”

The New School position is that we need more data about what’s really going wrong. With that more data, the fight would be less about who gets to run things than about how to fix them. Imagine addressing the recession without regularly gathered and revealed statistics about jobs, GDP and everything else the government measures and reveals.