RSA 2010: US declassifies Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative


RSA 2010: US declassifies Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative

Warwick Ashford

The US government has declassified a description of the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative (CNCI) launched in secret in January 2008.

The announcement was made by White House cyber security coordinator Howard Schmidt at the RSA Conference 2010 in San Francisco.

"As of noon today you will be able to go to and download the unclassified description of the CNCI and each of the 12 initiatives under the CNCI," he said yesterday.

The move is in line with President Barack Obama's commitment to an unprecedented level of openness, said Schmidt.

"Transparency and partnerships are key to ensuring security in cyberspace. To be successful, we need to seek out new and innovative partnerships. Our collective knowledge and experience is the most powerful tool we have," Schmidt told the audience, made up largely of information security professionals.

Declassifying the CNCI outline is also the latest in several developments that have taken place in the past nine months as part of the US government's commitment to making cyber security a priority.

"This includes my appointment as cyber security coordinator, working across all aspects of Federal government," said Schmidt.

Although much work remains to be done, he said good progress has been made in at least seven areas.

These include new metrics for the Federal information security management programme, key appointments to safeguard privacy and civil liberties, and international cyber security policy.

"We are all in this together. It is a shared responsibility and we need all partners to work together to secure cyberspace," he said.

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