US Homeland Security spat comes to London

What are the chances. You get away from Washington for a few days and escape the criticism that your division of Homeland Security has been getting for not doing its job, only to find that one of your main critics is at the same event that you are at in London.

Well that it is the slightly unfortunate position that DHS Undersecretary Robert Jamison has found himself in at the RSA Conference Europe in London this week. Members of an cybersecurity oversight commission have been very publicly criticising the role of the DHS in managing the country’s cyber defences including claims that there is basically no leadership around the issue.

As head of the cybersecurity division at DHS, Jamison is probably going to take that personally, well he can’t fail to really when confronted by statements such as: “There really is no one in charge right now at DHS”.

And who made that very direct criticism? None other than cyber commission member Paul Kurtz, who just happens to be at RSA too. Kurtz is here pushing his own iniative to promote secure approaches to software development – Safecode – launched at last year’s show. I am not sure if the two security gurus have bumped into each other, but I am guessing that right now even the cavernous halls at Excel don’t feel big enough.

Having chatted to Jamison, it seems that the commission hasn’t been very good at actually getting in touch with his department. The commissions main mission is to prepare a report for the next administration around cyberthreats/security policy – but according to a Jamison’s office, the commission has made very little attempt to get in touch with the body that has been doing the job for the last few years.

I will try and get in touch with Kurtz and find out his side of things and report back…

For more go to CNET.

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