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HSD outlines cybersecurity plans

The Homeland Security Department plans to establish a cybersecurity research and development center that would be a focus for federal and private R&D efforts, undersecretary Charles McQueary told the House Science Committee yesterday. McQueary, who heads the department’s Science and Technology Directorate, said the center was one of six IT security initiatives the directorate would undertake this year. Although the bulk of the directorate’s mission will focus on physical security technology, he reassured the committee that IT security would be a significant part of the mission. Science Committee chairman Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-N.Y.) called the hearing to look into shortfalls of federal funding for research on IT security. The Cyber Security Research and Development Act of 2002 authorized $903 million over five years for R&D. But fiscal 2003 appropriations and proposed 2004 funding “are significantly below the authorized levels,” the chairman wrote in the hearing charter. He also complained that it is difficult to find out how much federal money is being spent on R&D for IT security. Full Story

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