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White House Eliminates Major Cybersecurity Position

17 May 2018

The position was established during the administration of President Barack Obama and was aimed at harmonizing government policy on cybersecurity and digital warfare.

House Democrats on Tuesday introduced legislation to codify a top cybersecurity position at the White House following national security adviser John Bolton's decision to eliminate the role.

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

CNN reported last month Bolton pushed out Tom Bossert as homeland security adviser to make room for his own team, as several other officials left the National Security Council, including deputy national security adviser Nadia Schadlow and Joyce, who served as Bossert's deputy.

Lieu said that "a coordinated effort to keep our information systems safe is paramount if we want to counter the cyber threats posed by foes like Russia, Iran and China".

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"It is an enormous step backwards to deemphasize the importance of this growing domain within the White House", Langevin added in a statement Tuesday. Bolton ultimately chose to scrap the coordinator role.

The role of the cyber coordinator was to work with agencies and build a single strategy for challenges including security during elections, or digital deterrence. "Moving forward, these senior directors will coordinate cyber matters and policy".

The Executive Cyberspace Coordination Act unveiled Tuesday would establish a national office for cyber space at the president's office and comes after Rob Joyce, the Trump administrator's cyber coordinator, resigned from his post.

As some lawmakers noted this week, having more staff dedicated to cybersecurity in the current climate would be prudent. We also need to articulate a clear cyber doctrine. Mark Warner (D-VA), ranking member on the Senate Intelligence Committee, tweeted Wednesday.

White House Eliminates Major Cybersecurity Position