seeks over one-third rise in U.S. cyber security funding
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[February 09, 2016]
By Dustin Volz
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack
Obama's budget proposal for the 2017 fiscal year seeks $19 billion for
cyber security across the U.S. government, a surge of $5 billion over
this year, according to senior administration officials.
The request comes as the Obama administration has struggled to
address the growing risk posed by criminals and nation states in the
The initiative, to be released later on Tuesday, is more than a
one-third increase from the $14 billion sought last year and will
include $3.1 billion for technology modernization at various federal
It is unclear whether the Republican-controlled Congress will
approve the increase.
The request for a cash infusion is the latest signal from the White
House that it intends to make cyber security a top priority in the
last year of Obama’s presidency.
The move follows a series of high-profile hacks against the
government and companies like Sony Pictures and Target, that were
largely met with legislative inaction and administrative uncertainty
on how best to address evolving cyber threats.
Those difficulties played out publicly last year when the Office of
Personnel Management announced it had fallen victim to a massive
hack that lifted sensitive information on roughly 22 million
individuals from its databases.
The White House will also announce Tuesday plans for a presidential
commission on cyber security, which will make recommendations on how
to strengthen defenses over the next decade. Officials, who briefed
reporters before the formal release of the Obama budget, said they
would create a new position of federal chief information security
A government watchdog report last month concluded that the
government’s cyber defense system, known as Einstein, is ineffective
at combating hackers.
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“No matter how good we get, we will never stop 100 percent of
intrusions” Michael Daniel, special assistant to the president and
cybersecurity coordinator, told reporters in the briefing before the
release of the budget plan.
Obama will also sign an executive order Tuesday to create a
permanent Federal Privacy Council, which aims to connect privacy
officials across the government to develop comprehensive guidelines
for how personal data is collected and stored.
The president’s budget proposal will also call for $62 million to
expand efforts to attract and retain qualified cyber professionals
working for the government, with things like student loan
forgiveness and the creation of a CyberCorps Reserve program, where
Americans can obtain college scholarships if they pursue technical
jobs in government.
(Reporting by Dustin Volz; Editing by Richard Cowan and Andrew Ha
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