White House cybersecurity czar brags about his lack of technical expertise

Michael Daniel is the White House's cybersecurity coordinator, the man who "leads the interagency development of national cybersecurity strategy and policy" for the president. And in a recent interview with GovInfoSecurity, he argued that his lack of technical expertise gave him an advantage in doing that job.
"You don't have to be a coder in order to really do well in this position," Daniel said, when asked if his job required knowledge of the technology behind information security. "In fact, actually, I think being too down in the weeds at the technical level could actually be a little bit of a distraction."
"You can get taken up and enamored with the very detailed aspects of some of the technical solutions," he explained, arguing that "the real issue is looking at the broad strategic picture."

As Princeton computer scientist (and, full disclosure, my former advisor) Ed Felten points out, it's hard to imagine senior policymakers with responsibility for other technical subjects making this kind of claim. Imagine a White House economic advisor arguing that experience in the weeds of economic research would be a distraction, an attorney general making that claim about time in a courtroom, or a surgeon general bragging about never having set foot in an operating room...


No comments:

Post a Comment