Compliance Management, Privacy

DHS’ National Cybersecurity Center director resigns

Rod Beckstrom, director of the National Cybersecurity Center, an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has resigned.

Beckstrom confirmed in an email to Friday that his last day will be March 13.
“I have no comments to offer at this time, but will be able to speak freely on appropriate matters when I have left,” Beckstrom said.

In a letter of resignation to secretary of the DHS Janet Napolitano that was obtained by a number of media outlets, Beckstrom recommended that in the interim the agency appoint the deputy director, Mary Ellen Seale, as acting director.

Beckstrom wrote that the NCSC, “did not receive the appropriate support” from the DHS during the Bush administration. It needed that support to fulfill the agency's responsibility to protect the nation's cybersecurity across the country's civilian, military and intelligence communities.

“During the past year, the NCSC received only five weeks of funding, due to various roadblocks engineered within the department and by the Office of Management and Budget,” Beckstrom said.

Beckstrom said that there was a proposal to move the NCSC to a National Security Agency (NSA) facility and that the DHS's cybersecurity efforts are "controlled" by the NSA, which he believes is “a bad strategy on multiple grounds.” He said it threatens the democratic process to have one organization directly or indirectly handle all top-level government network security and monitoring.

“During my term as director we have been unwilling to subjugate the NCSC underneath the NSA,” he wrote in his resignation letter.

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