White House Creates New Cybersecurity Intelligence Agency

February 11, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
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The White House this week announced that it is creating a federal agency to keep tabs on and counter cybersecurity threats against the United States. The Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center will be the clearinghouse for collaborative offensive and defensive work performed by the FBI, the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.

"We are at a transformational moment in the evolution of the cyberthreat," Lisa Monaco, assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, said during the announcement delivered at the Wilson Center, a Congressionally chartered, non-partisan center tackling global policy issues through independent research and open dialogue. "The actions we take today—and those we fail to take—will determine whether cyberspace remains a great national asset or increasingly becomes a strategic liability."

The $35 million agency comes on the heels of cybersecurity legislation proposed by President Barak Obama during his State of the Union Address in January.

The Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center is to be part of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

The administration’s announcement made Tuesday, however, caught off-guard some congressional lawmakers. “Everyone agrees cybersecurity is an enormous challenges. If we are going to successfully address it, Congress and the administration must work together,” Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) said in a statement issued Wednesday. “That is why we were surprised to learn from media reports about the proposed cyber integration center.”

The House Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, in fact, is scheduled to receive Thursday its quarterly cyber operations update. “This gives us a great opportunity to delve into the details of this Cyber Integration Center proposal to see if it makes sense and could make a real difference for our security,” Wilson continued.

However, the center is not a proposal from the White House as administration officials are using executive authority set by the 2004 Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act to create the center.

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