Obama names former national security adviser as chief of new cybersecurity panel

By Doug G. Ware   |   Feb. 17, 2016 at 8:42 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 17 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama on Wednesday named former national security adviser Tom Donilon to head a new federal commission to combat cyber crimes.

The commission was established Feb. 9 as a means to lay framework for the United States' long-term fight against computer-related attacks -- which have become more common in recent years.

Donilon met with Obama Wednesday at the White House, where the president also tabbed former IBM chief executive Sam Palmisano to be Donilon's deputy.

"The Internet has brought incredible opportunity, incredible wealth, good access to data and information, that are enhancing our lives in all sorts of ways," Obama said. "It also means that more and more of our lives are being downloaded and stored... and as a consequence we're a lot more vulnerable."

The commission will enlist the advice of numerous cybersecurity experts and issue a final recommendation to Obama by Dec. 1.

"The commission will make recommendations on actions that can be taken over the next decade to strengthen cybersecurity in both the public and private sectors while protecting privacy," the White House said when the panel was announced.

The task force is part of a larger overall goal by the Obama administration to plan ahead in combating cyber crimes.

The White House's vision was outlined in the president's budget proposal to Congress earlier this month, which asked for an additional $5 billion to fight cyber crime -- an increase of 35 percent over last year's funding.

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