The Buzz: February 3, 2003

Richard Clarke, the president's top information security adviser, plans to retire within the next month.

Security Czar Plans to Retire

Richard Clarke, the presidents top information security adviser, plans to retire within the next month, leaving a power vacuum at the top of the governments security structure at a crucial point in the development of the nascent Department of Homeland Security.

Clarke, chairman of the Presidents Critical Infrastructure Protection Board, has been the driving force behind the development of the National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace. Sources said he plans to leave once the final version of the document is released, which is expected this month.

Clarke, who has been in government service for 30 years, is leaving to join the private sector, sources said.

His departure throws into question the future structure of the PCIPB, which is slated to become part of Homeland Security. The board was designed to advise President Bush on information security issues; however, that function effectively will become redundant once the new department is fully staffed and operational, experts say.

Washington sources say no decision on a possible successor to Clarke has been made.

Windows NT 4 Support Extended

Windows NT 4 users got a reprieve from Microsoft.

The software maker last week said it will extend support for the 6-year-old operating system 12 months longer than originally slated. That means users will continue to get security patches and hot fixes until the end of next year. Other types of updates will end Dec. 31. About 15 percent of the Windows installed base still runs NT 4.

Paolini Named to Borland Java Unit

Former Sun Java marketing executive George Paolini has resurfaced at Borland as vice president and general manager of the companys Java Business Unit. He replaces Tony de la Lama, who was named general manager of Borlands newly formed Together Business Unit.