Let anyone who wants waltz right into US cyberspace:
The White House eliminated the position of cybersecurity coordinator on the National Security Council on Tuesday, doing away with a post central to developing policy to defend against increasingly sophisticated digital attacks and the use of offensive cyber weapons.
A memorandum circulated by an aide to the new national security adviser, John R. Bolton, said the post was no longer considered necessary because lower-level officials had already made cybersecurity issues a “core function” of the president’s national security team.
If that seems suspiciously moronic to you too, well…y’all are not alone:
Cybersecurity experts and members of Congress said they were mystified by the move, though some suggested Mr. Bolton did not want any competitive power centers emerging inside the national security apparatus.
Bureaucratic politics and ongoing White House obedience to home office demands from the banks of the Moskva River trump US security once again. To continue:
President Trump began his administration with two respected veterans of cyber policy. He appointed Thomas P. Bossert, a lawyer in the administration of President George W. Bush, as the homeland security adviser.
The cybersecurity coordinator who reported to him, Rob Joyce, had run the Tailored Access Operations unit of the N.S.A. — the unit that, until it was reorganized and renamed, was responsible for breaking into foreign computer systems as part of United States covert operations.
Mr. Bossert was forced out on Mr. Bolton’s second day on the job, and Mr. Joyce returned to the N.S.A. on Friday. [links in the original]
This, from the same New York Times article quoted above, seems to me not MSM cluelessness but elegantly thrown shade:
It is unclear how those issues will now be managed in the White House. Mr. Bolton has virtually no cyber-related experience.
Though I am not a lawyer, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that inexperience — not to say stupidity — is no defense against charges of treason or other malfeasance.
This has been another update in the #WASF chronicles.
(Open thread, also too.)
Image: Potter Paulus, The young thief, 1649.
It’s almost like people high up in our government want to hand the keys of our country over to the Russians, but that can’t be because Republicans are the most patriotic patriots that ever patrioted.
Our Revolution strikes another blow against the Neoliberal Status Quo!
Bolton strikes me as the kind of guy who has “no need” for a computer (like Comey, I think I heard).
The last refuge of a scoundrel?
The foxes will be so lethargic after gorging on chickens that they’ll be easier to catch.
Yeah, that’s the ticket.
We’re only hiring the BEST Bushies. I just can’t wait for the 2018 version of this blast from the past.
“Bin Laden determined to strike in the US.”
One does tire of loading DOS from the floppy drive.
Dolt 45: Strike? Damn unions, at it again.
Russia plans to meddle in the 2016 elections
John Bolton,dedicated public servant and champion of good governement, said no one anywhere, ever.
Left unsaid was that they had taken the enemy’s side of the issue.
Major Major Major Major
They continue to act in a manner indistinguishable from people who are helping a foreign government manipulate the country ??
Before you defeat your enemies abroad, you must defeat your enemies at home, even if that involves cutting a deal with your enemies abroad. This is strategy as the Republicans understand it.
So it’s a core function with nobody who actually knows anything about it on the staff. Right.
Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes
When I was in my teens, I devoured Allen Drury’s “Advise and Consent” series all the way to the forked end.
Drury was a dogged hater of Stalinism, and tended to see a lot of things as commie plots. Unusual for his day, though, he wasn’t a culture warrior – his “good guy” political characters were secularized residents of a normal world, contending against an array of idiots in the media, pols in the thrall of media, Russian thugs and an eerily familiar consortium of extremist activists from the far left and the far right.
His fiction was frequently bad and geographically nonsensical as to what the internal alignments would be, BUT he could have easily written the plot of what we’re living through now.
The end of the series was forked-the first was “Come Nineveh, Come Tyre”, in which the centrist order was crushed, with the country becoming a Russian vassal state in all but name, headed quickly toward a dictatorship under a domestic version of Stalin.
The second ending was “The Promise of Joy”, where the centrist order prevails while Russia and China have a nuclear war and revolutions.
In the second ending, the leaders of the far left and far right wind up assassinated by their erstwhile and naive black activist ally when he realizes what they are and what they represent.
The thing about Drury’s media idiots – he had to have a time machine capable of viewing our current media.
Mike in NC
Reminds me of the time one a summer when I worked at the Naval Staff College — an organization within the Naval War College that trains officers from allied navies — and I volunteered to create a detailed database on alumni. I was told “the admiral doesn’t like computers” and the information would have to be organized on index cards he could keep in a box on top of his desk!
Currently working an IT security position at a government agency. Not sure how effective this posiltion was for other agencies but when we got a request from the White House that was officially a Big Deal. It’s not like we didn’t do our jobs otherwise but we certainly made sure all the i’s were dotted and t’s were crossed.
Seems like it would be useful to have a trusted and semi-feared person to direct responses to IT security emergencies in government. Guess not.
No worries, ”lower-level officials” have got this. They are anonymous for the sake of security, i.e., so no one will know who dropped the ball the next time.
@Mike in NC: When I get a task like that, I make the database, and program in the option to print the cards.
But her emails.
Gin & Tonic
The worst people to deal with on infosec issues are those who think they know something but have no relevant operational experience. Sounds like that’s the NSC now.
Gin & Tonic
Anyway, happy (Norwegian) Constitution Day to all. Oslo has been hopping.
@Gin & Tonic: I believe Messrs. Dunning and Krueger have a name for that.
What is a #WASF chronicle?
@Immanentize: Computer, books, research tools, researchers… He don’t need none of those things.
@Mart: WASF= We are so fucked
@Immanentize: That’s Kaypro — my first computer was a “portable” Kaypro 2x.
fwiw A year ago, the Hill wrote (flavored like a WH press release) >>The administration has put in place some key people who will have a major say on cybersecurity, cyber defense, and IT modernization.<<
Then listed: Joyce, Kushner, Liddell, Kelly, Mattis.
(I don't know if Liddel got the appointment to the NEC that was mentioned when Cohn left?)
Re Kushner, we were told that
Of Liddell (part of Kushner’s Office of American Innovation + on the American Technology Council)
I guess we’ll always have Kushner.
I wonder if they are going to try to outsource cybersecurity in another privatization scheme? I’m not thinking straight right now.
Relax. Everything will be fine as long as the Russkies don’t break Twitter.
@Aleta: Putting it that way makes me think this could be another public funds grab for DuVois and her Princeling brother. Scr3w the public entity tasked with the business, and then bring in the private sector alternate that can do
worse for more moneybetter for less.
@gene108: IIRC, according to all internet traditions, it’s “FRIST.” This has been throwback humour.
But it’ll be OK because, when net neutrality goes the way of the dinosaurs, our enemies won’t be able to afford the charges for accessing our websites!