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Lawmakers unveil cyber recommendations for Trump administration.

As reported on, a cybersecurity task force issued a report with recommendations for the Trump administration on combatting cyber crimes and terrorism. The January 5 report, "From Awareness to Action: A Cybersecurity Agenda for the 45th President," suggests the administration reorganize oversight authorities, elevate the role of the White House cybersecurity coordinator, and clarify the cyber defense roles of civilian and military agencies.

According to the report, the most contentious issue was how to best protect the nation's critical infrastructure. In November, Trump suggested the Department of Defense (DoD) would develop a "comprehensive plan to protect America's vital infrastructure from cyberattacks," an authority that's now under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) jurisdiction.

Task force Co-Chair Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) believes that giving the authority to DoD would be a serious mistake.

"I don't believe the American people want to militarize our cyber defenses," he said. "We have civilian police officers, civilian FBI agents ... We don't have the military walking through the streets ... I think the same principle applies to cyber, in terms of needing a civilian agency to defend the nation's critical infrastructure."

McCaul said the DHS will need an independent operational component to handle digital threats.

The report proposed establishing a Division of Data Protection within the Federal Trade Commission to strengthen consumer data security.

Co-Chair Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.l.) also proposed using a roving or independent oversight authority "across a wide array of civilian agencies" that would "stress test their security, rather than simply check off a minimum security checklist."

He said the public must be promptly informed of all cyber incidents and the steps government is taking to mitigate such threats.

"One obstacle to transparency is the culture of overclassification that pervades the executive branch," he said, suggesting Trump should designate a specific "cybersecurity discloser" position within the White House charged with reporting to the public.

Whitehouse was uncertain which recommendations would require legislation.

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Title Annotation:CYBERSECURITY
Publication:Information Management Journal
Date:Mar 1, 2017
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