The US National Security Council says the role is no longer needed. That official would synchronize cybersecurity policy across agencies in much the same way that White House cybersecurity coordinator Rob Joyce was doing until he stepped down last week. The cyber coordinator role, set up during the Obama administration, was tasked with harmonising the government's approach to cybersecurity and digital warfare.
Cutting the job will "streamline authority" for senior directors who lead most NSC teams, according to an email sent to NSC staff. "Streamlining management will improve efficiency, reduce bureaucracy and increase accountability", Palladino said.
The decision to do away with the role was met by criticism by government officials and cybersecurity experts, who fear that the Trump administration won't be ready to handle the increasing cybersecurity threats the USA is facing - from hacking of digital election systems to cyber penetration efforts by Russian and Iranian hackers.
"This move impedes our country's strategic efforts to counter cybersecurity threats against our country", he said. "I don't see how getting rid of the top cyber official in the White House does anything to make our country safer from cyber threats", Senate Intelligence ranking member Mark Warner (Democra-Virginia) tweeted.
"Structure isn't everything", Painter said, but having a White House cybersecurity coordinator "does signal our prioritization of cyberspace to our partners and adversaries alike". "We need a designated expert to harmonize cyber policy across the many agencies in government with responsibility in this space". On May 3, the Defense Department announced it would be elevating U.S. Cyber Command to a combatant command, putting it at the same level as other unified combatant commanders and allowing Army Lt. Gen. Paul M. Nakasone to report directly to Defense Secretary James Mattis.