July 31, 2008  
Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., and Ranking Member Susan Collins, R-Me., Thursday released the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) response to their May 2008 letter requesting a more detailed account of the Comprehensive National Cyber Security Initiative (CNCI). The CNCI was established in January through National Security Presidential Directive 54 / Homeland Security Presidential Directive 23, which established a multi-agency, multi-year plan to secure the federal government’s cyber networks. DHS has taken the lead on portions of the initiative but has been reluctant to share details of the project with Congress or the public.

The Committee held a classified hearing on the initiative on March 4, 2008. DHS responded on June 2, 2008, to a variety of questions that Lieberman and Collins posed in their May letter, but marked the response For Official Use Only. Lieberman and Collins requested a redacted version that could be publicly released so as to increase public information about this critical program.

The response includes information on the National Cyber Security Center, how privacy will be protected under the CNCI, how success of the initiative will be measured, and how the Department views the private sector’s role in the initiative. The Department chose to redact information relating to contracting at the National Cyber Security Division (NCSD). The senators have asked DHS explain their reasons for the redactions.

A copy of the letter can be found here.