Skip To Main

Rep. Clarke: Slowdown on “Czar” Bills-GovInfo Security

House IT Security Panel Chair Reluctant to Codify Cyber Aide

November 4, 2009 – Eric Chabrow, Managing Editor

Yvette Clarke wonders what’s the rush by some of her congressional colleagues in codifying a high-level administration, Senate-confirmed cybersecurity official.

“I don’t know that it’s necessary at this stage to put it in statute,” Clarke, D.-N.Y., who chairs the House Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity Security and Science and Technology, said in an interview with (transcript below). “I’m hesitant to rush into a whole lot of legislating around cybersecurity.”

Instead, Clarke said, she’d like to see President Obama carry through in his promise of last May to appoint a White House cybersecurity coordinator, and then assess the situation. Then, the White House and Congress, working with the private sector, can determine what’s truly needed and what needs to be legislative to safeguard the government’s and the nation’s critical IT assets. “Without having that coordinator, [it’s] sort of putting the cart before the horse, basically trying to legislate in a vacuum, and I don’t know that that’s the most productive way of determining what’s in our best interest at this stage.”

In the interview, Clarke also discussed key elements of what she terms the National Data Breach Law and how far Congress should go to regulate private-sector IT and data.

Clarke represents one of the country’s most ethnically diverse Congressional districts, New York’s 11th in central Brooklyn, which includes some of the borough’s most recognizable sites: Prospect Park, Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, Brooklyn Museum of Art and the Brooklyn Library. The 11th is the nation’s third smallest Congressional district by area – 12.05 square miles – and the smallest represented by a woman.

The congresswoman was interviewed by Managing Editor Eric Chabrow.

ERIC CHABROW: We’re recording this interview in mid-October, and earlier today as part of your role as the panel’s chair, you asse