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Technology veteran appointed US “cyber-czar”

Howard A. Schmidt, a former George W. Bush administration official, is now part of US President Barack Obama’s team as an advisor on government computer security strategies.

Obama announced the creation of the position on 29 May, but delayed as political, military, and business interests expressed concerns about the cyber-czar’s duties and position within the White House bureaucracy. Many candidates turned down the job along the way. Schmidt will report to deputy national security advisor John O. Brennan. (Washington Post)

Schmidt, an expert in computer forensics, is currently president of the Information Security Forum, a London-based nonprofit trade association that works on cybercrime issues. He has previously worked as security officer for both Microsoft and eBay and headed up a computer forensics team at the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Drug Intelligence Center. From 2001 to 2003, he served on Bush’s Critical Infrastructure Protection Board. (NY Times / Associated Press)

In April, Nature advocated boosting academic research against cybercrime. “Cybersecurity is an arms race in which ever-more sophisticated responses will be needed as new threats emerge,” the journal’s editors wrote.

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