The House Oversight and Government Reform Government Management Subcommittee today reported legislation mandating the creation of a permanent national office for cyberspace within the White House to oversee federal agency efforts to protect computer systems from terrorist attacks and other threats, The Hill reports. Under the bill, which cleared the subpanel on a voice vote, the office would have a Senate-confirmed director and include a panel of government information technology experts tasked with guiding agency programs to tighten their computer security systems. The legislation would effectively institutionalize the White House Office of Cyber-Security Coordinator created by President Obama by executive order last year and now headed by Howard Schmidt, a veteran computer industry official who served as an adviser to President George W. Bush. The legislation would also direct agencies to develop automatic systems for continuously monitoring their computer networks for deficiencies and risks instead of – as they are required to do now – filing annual reports showing compliance with the standards of the Federal Information Security Management Act.
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