Director of National Cybersecurity Center Resigns


On Friday, Rod Beckstrom, Director of National Cybersecurity Center (NCSC), resigned as of this coming Friday the 13th, according to news reports.

In his resignation letter to his new bosses at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Beckstrom who has been the NCSC director since its creation last March, states that â''during the past year, the NCSC had received only five weeks of funding, due to various roadblocks engineered within the department and by the Office of Management and Budget,â'' and that the National Security Agency (NSA) "effectively controls DHS cyber efforts through detailees [and] technology insertions.â'' The NSA is, he says, trying to exert even tighter control by proposing to move the NCSC to NSA headquarters at Fort Meade, Maryland.

Beckstrom goes on to say that he thinks that if NSA is successful in its efforts to "subjugate" (his words) the NCSC there will be significant â''threats to our democratic processes.â''

The NCSC is the national body within DHS that is supposed to be responsible for protecting networks across the civilian, military and intelligence communities.

Beckstrom appears tired of fighting turf battles not only with the NSA but also with other groups within DHS. The last straw probably came last week when the Director of National Intelligence Admiral Dennis Blair seemed to imply to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence that the NCSC be housed at Ft. Meade.

While the DHS didn't comment directly on Beckstrom's resignation, others in DHS were more than happy to complain (off the record, of course) of personality clashes and his "an inability to adapt to the way business is done in Washington."

In other words, Beckstrom thought he was actually hired to do the job outlined in his NCSC job description. When others wouldn't let him, instead of shutting up, Beckstrom spoke up. A clear case of caring too much, as the Washington DC cynics who have "learned to adapt" would say.

It will be interesting see what happens to the NCSC once the Administration's 60 day cybersecurity review is complete.

If I were a member of the NCSC, I would be figuring out commuting routes to Fort Meade.


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Robert Charette
Spotsylvania, Va.
Willie D. Jones
New York City