The federal government opened the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center this week. The $9 million facility will house the National Computer Emergency Readiness Team and the National Coordinating Center for Telecommunications. Its 61 computers will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The center will provide a much-needed "central repository" for cyber security and communications information, according to U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, but some observers -- including legislators -- are concerned that the administration continues to delay appointment of a permanent cyber security czar to oversee the whole thing.
Reps. James Langevin, D-R.I., and Michael McCaul, R-Texas, who co-chair the House Cybersecurity Caucus; Yvette Clark, D-N.Y.; and Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., have all gone on record urging the appointment to be made as soon as possible. Moreover, Sens. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, plan to propose legislation that would require the cyber security czar to be confirmed by the Senate.
President Obama announced the creation of the new positionin May. It was filled (on a temporary basis) by Melissa Hathaway, and is currently being managed by Chris Painter, who InformationWeek reports is "on loan ... from the Federal Bureau of Investigation" until the full-time appointment is made.