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White House Hosts Cybersecurity Conference; Discusses Solutions

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WASHINGTON, July 19, 2010 –White House Cybersecurity Coordinator and Special Assistant to the President Howard Schmidt has announced that 12 of 19 Federal agencies would be newly covered by EINSTEIN intrusion detection software. The decision came in the context of a series of talks regarding cybersecurity at the White House – talks in which President Obama himself participated.

According to a release by Schmidt’s office, the President emphasized the increasing importance our society will place on digital communications and information infrastructure as we seek to unleash the potential of these new media,“ and “the need for continued collaboration between the private sector and government.”

This latter commitment was reflected by the guest list, which included a panel of representatives from specific sectors of the economy and privacy and civil liberties groups. Both Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano also attended, with Locke emphasizing the potential cybersecurity risks that were being addressed through the Internet’s Domain Name System (DNS) infrastructure, and Napolitano announcing the winners of the National Cybersecurity Campaign Awareness Challenge.

These announcements come as the Senate is set to take up a controversial cybersecurity bill co-authored by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn) and Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif), and coincide roughly with a series of remarks given by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) calling for bipartisan support for the legislation.

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