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America's Cybersecurity Czar, Howard Schmidt, Steps Down 52

Posted by samzenpus
from the hit-the-road dept.
wiredmikey writes "In December of 2009, after months of waiting, the Obama Administration named Howard Schmidt as the White House Cybersecurity Coordinator. After more than forty years in the IT community, the nation's first cyber czar will retire at the end of the month. Schmidt, after just over two years of government service, said he would retire in order to spend more time with his family and to entertain teaching opportunities in the cyber field. Schmidt was at the reins when the White House introduced its international strategy for cyberspace, and also helped create the controversial National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace, an initiative that would allow people to obtain a single credential as a one-time password (on a token or mobile device) to do business on the Internet. Schmidt will be replaced by Michael Daniel, currently the head of the White House budget office's intelligence branch."
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America's Cybersecurity Czar, Howard Schmidt, Steps Down

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  • by Dr. Tom (23206)

    Is Mudge still available?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Seems like a natural promotion from his position at DARPA.

  • by xzvf (924443) on Friday May 18, 2012 @08:20AM (#40039755)
    I mean, really.... Grey hair, Fred Thompson look alike... They don't exist in IT. Is federal security locking up the punch cards?
    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      I mean, really.... Grey hair, Fred Thompson look alike... They don't exist in IT.

      I see you've never been inside the building I work in.

  • by chrissigler (1930758) on Friday May 18, 2012 @08:32AM (#40039825)

    ...White House budget office's intelligence branch.

    Too... many... oxymorons...

    Cannot... resist...

    • by Nidi62 (1525137)
      I'm just wondering why the budget office needs an intelligence branch. Are they stealing budget ideas from other governments? Are their latest figures going to get hijacked or blown up?
    • "oxymoron". Is that a rusty moron?
  • Slightly off-topic, but am I the only one that thinks the word "cyber" is a silly 90's throwback?

    • by lennier1 (264730)

      It's hard to take anyone seriously who's still using that word with a straight face.

      • by foobsr (693224)

        It's hard to take anyone seriously who's still using that word with a straight face.

        Kevin Warwick? (Professor of Cybernetics)

        CC.

      • by kestryn (222463)

        It might behoove you to get over that. The head of the US National Security Agency, a four-star general, is 'dual-hatted' as the head of United States Cyber Command. I'm pretty sure most of the 'serious' world takes his efforts seriously.

        Facebook links for fun:
        https://www.facebook.com/pages/United-States-Cyber-Command/117614808290017
        http://www.facebook.com/pages/NSA/106066839432866?rf=113191532024730

        Also, have you seen NSA's publicly-released documentation on UFO's? Hilarity.
        Here's the general link full

    • It's silly to the technical population. It still sounds serious to the layperson. There's a bit of a language disconnect. I'm sure you've seen the regular debates around here regarding the definition of 'hacker,' fought between those who wish to stay true to the old meaning and those who wish to accept the corrupt but more-popular meaning to avoid confusion.
      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        I'm sure you've seen the regular debates around here regarding the definition of 'hacker,' fought between those who wish to stay true to the old meaning and those who wish to accept the corrupt but more-popular meaning to avoid confusion.

        Yeah, good luck avoiding confusing a layperson. I thought it was hilarious this morning watching the looks on reporters' faces when they saw "HACK!" graffittied on a wall at Facebook HQ with Zuckenberg smiling, an their confusion at the "hackathon" they pulled last night.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by VortexCortex (1117377)

      It's short for Cybernetics, which is a much older throw back, (nearly?) pre-dating computers, and is applicable not only to technology, but any system with information feedback loops. Cybernetic research has been a huge boon to business since at least the 50s.

      Applying "Cyber" to only systems of logic in a computer or computer network is just wrong and should end. Your own mind is a Cybernetic Entity.

      • by kestryn (222463)

        Further, Cyber is often used today as a short version of "Cyberspace", which I suppose, to align with your comment, is really Cyberneticsspace. agh.

    • I've cyber-spoken to many cyber-people in the TFA's "cyber field" and I still can't give you a straight answer.

      Maybe we should build a sandboxed subset of the Internet for journalists called CYBER-SPACE that consists of nothing but their organizations' websites and a mountain of child porn. Cyber child porn.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Another rat deserting the good ship S.S. 0bama!

    • I usually think back to a very common use/meaning of the word "cyber" in 90s chatrooms [viewonline.com]. (I have no connection to that article, it was just one of the first useful search results.)

  • by pla (258480) on Friday May 18, 2012 @08:45AM (#40039911) Journal
    Schmidt will be replaced by Michael Daniel, currently the head of the White House budget office's intelligence branch.

    Um, come again?

    Someone kindly point out what makes this manager-of-auditors-of-bean-counters, with a background totally unrelated to cybersecurity or even IT in general, qualified to coordinate the nation's response to Chinese and Iranian hackers?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Well for starters he knows that for every one American cyberworrier there are 100 Chinese ones. :D

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by MadKeithV (102058)
        I don't know if the "cyberworrier" typo is intentional, but it seems oddly appropriate.
    • by Sulphur (1548251) on Friday May 18, 2012 @09:04AM (#40040037)

      Schmidt will be replaced by Michael Daniel, currently the head of the White House budget office's intelligence branch.

      Um, come again?

      Someone kindly point out what makes this manager-of-auditors-of-bean-counters, with a background totally unrelated to cybersecurity or even IT in general, qualified to coordinate the nation's response to Chinese and Iranian hackers?

      He can make a great speech you insensitive clod.

    • by niado (1650369)
      This is common in the corporate world as well. CIO's and heads of IT security are often just managers with little-to-no actual IT experience/knowledge.
    • by kestryn (222463)

      Did you note "intelligence branch"? NSA and US Cyber Command are run by the same guy. The signals intelligence community in the US *is* the community responding to the nation-state hacking threat.

  • The Bolsheviks had the right idea when they rise up and got rid of them. But since it's America you can just lay them off and not have to shoot their wives and families.

    The White house can have a policy wonk, but no need to give them " czarlike" powers or any more title than "advisor." The Guy who was elected shouldn't be insulated from responsibility by an unelected staffer with a big title and media who go along with the fiction that he hassome kind of independent authority.

  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Friday May 18, 2012 @09:09AM (#40040059) Homepage
    I'm sure he'll stamp his authority and re-invigorate the department by immediately setting up a Blue Ribbon committee to come up with the selection criteria for choosing an external consulting firm which will be tasked with planning a review of the mandatory fonts to be used on all internal memoranda.
  • i chuckled at this, "cyber field" , really?
  • by Jawnn (445279) on Friday May 18, 2012 @01:37PM (#40043299)
    To the federal government "Cyber Security" means "...how we protect the IT assets of banks, large corporations, and others who give us large campaign contributions. You little people are on your own. Piss off."
    • Little people depend on the stability of banks, large corporations, and others. We all interdepend on that shit.

    • by Shavano (2541114)

      Only in the public eye.

      In reality, it's more about how they protect government informations systems.

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