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Archive for May 17th, 2012

Michael Daniel Handed White House Cybersecurity Baton from Howard Schmidt

Schmidt with Obama 2009, White House photo

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

The White House’s cybersecurity coordinator will retire after having already extended his two -year contract by half a year.

Howard Schmidt, 62, oversaw the first legislative proposal on cybersecurity, and informed the government on the nature and dangers of potential attacks… and how to prevent them, writes the Washington Post.

In addition to Schmidt’s advisory role, he helped coordinate the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. His term also saw the country’s first international strategy for cyberspace, raising cyber security issues to the level of any other physical or economic threat to the country.

In 2009 Obama stressed that networks handling data for commerce, energy production and military operations are a “strategic national asset” to be protected at all costs, says the Post.

While Schmidt spends more time with his family and pursues teaching in the cyber field, his duties will be picked up by Michael Daniel, chief of the White House budget office’s intelligence branch.

Daniel has handled cybersecurity issues for the past 10 of 17 years he’s worked at the Office of Management and Budget. Daniels, 41, has been key to shaping intelligence budgets and intelligence reforms after the 2001 terrorist attacks.

To read more click here.

Former FBI Agent Quits Connecticut House Race

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

Former FBI agent Mike Clark was running to fill the Connecticut House seat once held by the governor he investigated, reports the AP, but he’s thrown in the towel.

Clark is instead urging supporters to help state Sen. Andrew Roraback win the Republican race in Connecticut’s 5th Congressional District.

The Connecticut Republican convention to endorse candidates for the U.S. House and Senate meets Friday.

To read more click here.

FBI Investigating Leaks to Media about Foiled al Qaeda Plot

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

Authorities are investigating leaks about a thwarted al Qaeda plot to blow up a U.S.-bound plane, reports the New York Times. FBI Director Robert Mueller told a Congressional Committee Wednesday that the the leaks are compromising national security efforts and would be pursued accordingly.

White House efforts to prosecute individuals who leak security information have found bipartisan support.

Said Senator Charles Grassley (R. Iowa), the ranking member of the committee, “Our international partners have been wary of cooperating with us in the wake of the WikiLeaks affair, in which our ability to keep their confidence was severely damaged.” For the record, the AP reportedly held the information about the foiled plot for two weeks before publishing in response to pleas from the White House and CIA.

Since his administration started cracking down on the sources of media leaks that potentially threaten national security: the NY Times reports there have been 6 prosecutions under Obama in contrast with only 3 ever before.

To read more click here.

Ousted Secret Service Agent Embroiled in More Trouble

NY Daily News Editorial: FBI Director Robert Mueller Must Stop Shutting Out NYPD

Director Mueller testifying on the Hill/fbi file photo

By The New York Daily News
Editorial Page

The pettiness was appalling as FBI Director Robert Mueller explained why the feds had left Police Commissioner Ray Kelly out of the loop on the underwear bomb plot.

“As I told Ray, he’s always welcome to call,” Mueller said. Question, Mr. G-man: Must Kelly say, “Pretty please,” too?

Mueller’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday was disturbing. Heretofore, he had shown no tolerance for the guerrilla warfare his terror fighters have waged against the NYPD. But his remarks under questioning by Sen. Chuck Schumer suggested infection by the same strain of professional jealousy.

Too many in the FBI chafed as Kelly built a domestic and international intelligence division that has been crucial to protecting New York. The force has foiled numerous homegrown plots.

To read more click here.

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