US cyber security chief steps down

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US cyber security chief steps down

Resigns for 'personal reasons'.

Acting US cyber security tsar Melissa Hathaway has resigned from her post, in a new blow to the Obama administration's efforts to take the initiative on cyber crime.

Reports in The Wall Street Journal said that Hathaway resigned yesterday for "personal reasons", although there had been reports that she had clashed with the president's economic advisers after suggesting that companies should be compelled to secure their networks.

Hathaway launched what was President Bush's cyber security initiative in February, and finally reported to the new Administration in April. After Obama's high-profile speech on information security in May, it was widely thought that Hathaway would step into the role full-time.

"The President is personally committed to finding the right person for this job, and a rigorous selection process is well under way," said White House spokesman Nicholas Shapiro.

Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown launched his own cyber security initiative in June, with senior civil servant Neil Thompson set to take on the duties as head of the new Office of Cyber Security.

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