United States government scraps cyber coordinator role in White House

Wednesday, 16 May, 2018

The White House eliminated the position of cybersecurity coordinator, a National Security Council official confirmed to CBS News on Tuesday.

The White House has eliminated the role of Cybersecurity Coordinator, generally viewed as the top cybersecurity role in the United States government.

Until today, the position had an important role in synchronizing cybersecurity efforts across the federal government, including managing the execution of defensive and offensive cyber operations conducted by the Pentagon.

The White House did not respond to questions on the move, first reported by Politico, which quoted from the internal memo.

The internal announcement said the elimination of the cyber role, just weeks into the tenure of national security adviser John Bolton, was part of an effort to "streamline authority for National Security Council Senior Directors". "Streamlining management will improve efficiency, reduce bureaucracy and increase accountability". Cyber policy experts, lawmakers and former officials had urged Trump to replace Joyce and not to abolish the position.

"This move impedes our country's strategic efforts to counter cybersecurity threats against our country", Lieu said. We also need to articulate a clear cyber doctrine.

"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. According to Reuters, The White House has seen a raft of departures since National Security Adviser John Bolton began his new role in April.

"It comes at a time when our greatest cyber-adversaries are more relevant than ever on the global stage, and the county already lacks central cybersecurity leadership". The cyber coordinator role, set up during the Obama administration, was tasked with harmonising the government's approach to cybersecurity and digital warfare.