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White House cybersecurity czar resigns. Again

Ex-Microserf Schmidt vacates 'bully pulpit' role

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Former Microsoft security chief Howard Schmidt has resigned as White House cybersecurity advisor, just weeks into his new role.

Schmidt took over the job from his much-criticised predecessor, Richard Clarke, in February. He is leaving at the end of this month to work in the private sector.

In a resignation letter, Schmidt said that many of the functions of his job had been taken over by President Bush's newly-created Homeland Security Department. A successor to Schmidt is yet to be named.

Cyber alarmists are bemoaning the apparently diminished importance attached to IT security issues in White House thinking.

"We are concerned that the cybersecurity issue is losing visibility inside the White House," Harris Miller, president of the Information Technology Association of America, told CNN. "In this case, the 'bully pulpit' opportunity to influence the development of a truly secure cyber infrastructure and associated best practices will be lost."

Which roughly translated amounts to: If people in the government aren't talking up the threat of Internet meltdown or worse, the sales might be lost. ®

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