White House eliminates cybersecurity coordinator position

White House eliminates cybersecurity coordinator position

The elimination of the cyber coordinator job marked the latest of several changes to the National Security Council since President Donald Trump named Bolton his national security adviser.

The cyber coordinator position, established under the Obama administration, was most recently held by Rob Joyce, a former National Security Agency (NSA) official widely respected by current and former officials for his breadth of expertise in cybersecurity.

The Trump administration on Tuesday eliminated the cybersecurity coordinator position on the National Security Council, the job central to developing policy to defend against computer attacks.

The functions of the cyber coordinator apparently are being absorbed by the National Security Council staff.

"As they sit six feet apart from one another, they will be able to coordinate [cyber matters and policy] in real time", NSC spokesperson Robert Palladino stated.

Per Politico, National Security Adviser John Bolton floated the idea of eliminating the position last week, and an email sent to staffers Tuesday confirmed that the position would be ended in an effort to "streamline authority". "Streamlining management will improve efficiency, reduce bureaucracy and increase accountability". "It is an enormous step backwards to deemphasize the importance of this growing domain within the White House", he said.

"We should be investing in our nation's cyber defense, not rolling it back. We need a designated expert to harmonize cyber policy across the many agencies in government with responsibility in this space".

"This move impedes our country's strategic efforts to counter cybersecurity threats against our country", he said.

"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. Forming a cohesive cyber defense strategy has become almost impossible as hundreds of departments report into a siloed set of decision makers.