Senators Urge Bolton to Reconsider Cyber-Tsar Role

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A group of 19 senators have called on the Trump administration to reverse its decision to drop a key cybersecurity role from the upper echelons of government.

An open letter to national security adviser (NSA), John Bolton, expressed concern that the lack of a special assistant to the President and cybersecurity coordinator would hamper US efforts at precisely the wrong time.

It detailed concerns from US lawmakers and intelligence officials of Russia’s growing confidence in conducting audacious cyber-attacks against its geopolitical enemies.

“Our country’s cybersecurity should be a top priority; therefore, it is critically important that the US government present a unified front in defending against cyber-attacks. Eliminating the cybersecurity coordinator role keeps us from presenting that unified front and does nothing to deter our enemies from attacking us again,” the letter continued.

“Instead, it would represent a step in the wrong direction. Again, we urge you to send a strong signal to the rest of the world that cybersecurity is a top priority by reconsidering the elimination of the cybersecurity coordinator.”

News that the position had been dropped broke earlier this month, after the White House chose not to replace Trump’s first appointee to the role, Rob Joyce, whose departure was announced in April.

It’s believed controversial NSA Bolton was behind the decision, which came amidst a spate of departures from the National Security Council following his appointment.

The decision was justified on the basis of “streamlining management” reducing bureaucracy and increasing accountability by placing decision-making firmly in the National Security Council.

It’s unlikely that the letter will change policy, given that all 19 senators are Democrats, even though it features the signatures of heavyweights including Elizabeth Warren and Mark Warner, the latter vice-chairman of the powerful Senate Intelligence Committee.

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