Industry asks Congress for help on DHS cybersecurity role

An alliance of major IT trade groups is seeking to boost the status of a federal cybersecurity chief within the Homeland Security Department.

Five business groups?the Cyber Security Industry Alliance, the Business Software Alliance, TechNet, the IT Association of America, and the Financial Services Roundtable?signed an Oct. 14 letter to House and Senate conferees working to reconcile the two versions of H.R. 10, the 9/11 Recommendations Implementation Act.

In the letter, the organizations ask the conferees to ensure the bill specifies that the position of assistant secretary for cybersecurity be created, reporting to the undersecretary for information analysis and infrastructure protection.

Tom Ridge, secretary of DHS, said earlier this week that he thought the position should be at the assistant secretary level, but others in the department said he had misspoken and that it would be a deputy assistant secretary's position.

"To be clear, we do not believe that level is sufficient," the groups said in the letter.

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