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U.S. to reveal parts of 'net security plan

  |   March 2, 2010 at 7:47 AM
WASHINGTON, March 2 (UPI) -- The Obama administration said it plans to declassify parts of the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative, a U.S. effort on Internet security rules.

Howard Schmidt, an industry cybersecurity expert who is the White House Internet security adviser, was to make the announcement Tuesday during an industry convention in San Francisco, The New York Times reported.

The Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative was created during the George W. Bush administration to bring together the nation's strategies for protecting government and commercial networks.

The declassification effort will help demonstrate the federal government has a clear, workable plan to protect the nation's network systems, Schmidt told the Times in a telephone interview Monday.

"The CNCI was shrouded in a lot of classification," Schmidt said. "The president has said very specifically that we need to make sure the administration is transparent with not only the American public but with an international audience as well."

The cybersecurity initiative arose from a classified National Security directive Bush signed in January 2008. The program's intent was to combine efforts of government agencies and develop security programs to protect the nation's networks, the Times said.

The plan has 12 initiatives, and general descriptions of the initiatives will be published on the whitehouse.gov Web site, Schmidt said. The portion of the initiative concerning the nation's offensive plans for cyberwarfare won't be made public, Schmidt said.

Schmidt said his comments at the RSA Conference in San Francisco will stress two themes -- partnerships and transparency. Schmidt said his office would appoint someone to handle privacy and civil liberties matters.

"In order to be successful against today's cybersecurity threats," he told the Times, "we must continue to seek out innovative new partnerships -- not only within government, but also among industry, government and the American public."

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