Feds Delay Launch of Cyber-Security Plan

The National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace won't be out by year's end, and the feds haven't set a new release date.

The White Houses cyber-security arm will not release the next draft of its National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace by the end of the year, as it had originally planned.

The Presidents Critical Infrastructure Protection Board, which produced the strategy, is still going over the comments submitted this fall on the original draft. No specific date has been set for the release of the next version of the document.

"Were hoping to get it out there soon," said Tiffany Olson, deputy chief of staff at the PCIPB in Washington. "Theres no timetable, but itll be early next year."

The board released the first draft of the strategy in September, and the public comment period lasted until mid-November. A number of security vendors and other software and hardware vendors submitted comments. Olson said the board now is working to find a way to release all of the comments it received without identifying their authors.

"We got a lot of great comments and a lot of interaction, which shows people care," she said. "Were trying to find a process to release the comments publicly. Thats our hope."

Richard Clarke, chairman of the PCIPB, held a series of town hall meetings around the country to discuss the strategy and give the public a chance to voice its concerns.

Olson also disputed a comment in a report released this week that said the draft national strategy had never been approved by the entire PCIPB. The comment was part of a report done by the Advisory Panel to Assess Domestic Response Capabilities for Terrorism Involving Weapons of Mass Destruction, which was established by Congress.

"I have no idea what they meant by that," Olson said. "I know that the full board has met several times and no agency has ever disputed [the strategy]."

The report was highly critical of the Bush administrations information security efforts in general and specifically criticized the national strategy as being "a small step indeed."