Page last updated at 12:48 GMT, Wednesday, 5 August 2009 13:48 UK

US struggling to find cyber-tsar

US government computer
The US government fights of hundreds of hacking attacks every day

Barack Obama's administration is continuing its search for a "cyber-tsar", which the US president pledged in May to appoint personally.

The White House's acting cyber-security head, Melissa Hathaway, stood down on Tuesday for "personal reasons".

Senator Susan Collins said Ms Hathaway's departure was a sign of "continued lack of leadership" on cyber-security policy.

A White House spokesman said the selection process was "well under way".

"I wasn't willing to continue to wait any longer because I'm not empowered right now to continue to drive the change," Ms Hathaway told The Washington Post newspaper on Tuesday.

Ms Hathaway, formerly of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, was temporarily filling the post to accomplish a 60-day review of cyber-security issues ordered by the administration.

Senator Collins said that the loss of Ms Hathaway's expertise was "unfortunate".

"Melissa Hathaway's departure underscores the continued lack of leadership within the Obama administration on cyber-security issues," she said.

Several senior executives are said to have turned down the post already.

White House spokesman Nick Shapiro countered that cyber-security remained prominent on President Obama's agenda.

"The president is personally committed to finding the right person for this job, and a rigorous selection process is well under way," he said.

Print Sponsor

US cyber-security tsar steps down
04 Aug 09 |  Technology
Opportunity knocks for cyber tsar
18 May 09 |  Technology
US launches cyber security plan
29 May 09 |  Americas
US ramps up cybersecurity focus
23 Apr 09 |  Technology
Spies 'infiltrate US power grid'
09 Apr 09 |  Technology
Nato's cyber defence warriors
03 Feb 09 |  Europe
Cyber criminals to target mobiles
21 Apr 08 |  Technology
China fury at US military report
26 Mar 09 |  Asia-Pacific
'Boom year' for hi-tech criminals
28 Dec 08 |  Technology
Spam overwhelms e-mail messages
08 Apr 09 |  Technology
BBC team exposes cyber crime risk
12 Mar 09 |  Click
Downturn 'boosting cyber-crime'
09 Dec 08 |  Business

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific