DHS Head Speaks on Silicon Valley Office, Private-Public Partnership
Speaking at RSA, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson discusses what his agency is doing to protect America and made a plea for less encryption.SAN FRANCISCO—Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson took the keynote stage at the RSA Conference today to explain what the U.S. government is doing in cyber-security, including a new Silicon Valley office and public-private partnerships, and why encryption isn't always a good thing. Cyber-security is a major priority for President Obama and his entire administration and it's a top priority for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Johnson said. "The Department of Homeland Security was formed in 2002 in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and counter-terrorism is the cornerstone of my department's mission," Johnson said. "In 2015, cyber-security is a mission of equal importance." Johnson emphasized that the U.S. government does not have all the answers or all the talent, and cyber-security must be a partnership between government and those in the private sector. To that end, DHS has been building an agile cyber-response capability to help address and mitigate threats. To help grow the partnership with the private sector, DHS is finalizing plans to open a satellite office in Silicon Valley, Johnson said. The purpose of the new office is to help strengthen the critical relationship between the government and the private sector so that both sides can benefit. Additionally, Johnson wants to convince talented workers to come to Washington and work for the U.S. government. The U.S. digital service initiative enables talent to flow and rotate between the private sector and government, he said.