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US cybersecurity czar quits

Spending more time with his family

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US cybersecurity czar Amit Yoran announced his resignation on Friday after a year in the job. The Department of Homeland Security said Yoran's departure was amicable but there's speculation that his exit was prompted by the Bush's administration's failure to treat IT security as much of a priority.

Since becoming director of the Department of Homeland Security's National Cyber Security Division in September 2003, Yoran has created a "cyber alert" system and forged closer links between the department and IT security suppliers, particularly over regulation. Commentators quizzed by Reuters said Yoran had become frustrated by the lack of political clout that went with what is supposedly the top computer-security job in US government.

"The department has had an identity crisis on cybersecurity for some time now," said Roger Cressey, a security consultant who worked in the Clinton and Bush administrations. "They have not figured out how to approach this issue in a systematic way."

Yoran said he's leaving to spend more time with his two young children and to explore ways in which he can re-enter the private sector. The Department of Homeland Security is yet to name his successor. ®

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