Cuts in funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF) could have a serious impact on the security of the internet, some experts have warned.

The warning comes after the approval by Congress of an omnibus appropriations bill, which reduced funding for the NSF to $5.47 billion – $60 million less than last year and $227 million less than the sum requested by President Bush, according to Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R- Mich.), who sharply criticized the cuts."This decision shows a dangerous disregard for our nation's future," he said.

It is unclear exactly how the NSF budget cuts will impact cybersecurity research, but it is unlikely to be good, said Thomas Leighton, chairman of the President's IT Advisory Committee's cybersecurity subcommittee.

Leighton, whose subcommittee recently drafted a report which recommended increasing NSF funding for cybersecurity research, said that the federal government has invested a lot in military and intelligence-related IT security projects, but has not done enough civilian cybersecurity research and development.