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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 932-10
October 13, 2010

Joint Statement by Secretary Gates and Secretary Napolitano on Enhancing Coordination to Secure America’s Cyber Networks

                “Reflecting President Obama’s strong commitment to building an administration-wide approach to combating threats to our cyber networks and infrastructure, the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have signed a memorandum of agreement that will align and enhance America’s capabilities to protect against threats to our critical civilian and military computer systems and networks.

                “Effective cybersecurity means protecting critical networks against a wide range of state and non-state actors that do not adhere to physical borders.

                “With this memorandum of agreement, effective immediately, we are building a new framework between our departments to enhance operational coordination and joint program planning.  It formalizes processes in which we work together to protect our nation’s cyber networks and critical infrastructure, and increases the clarity and focus of our respective roles and responsibilities.  The agreement embeds DoD cyber analysts within DHS to better support the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) and sends a full-time senior DHS leader to DoD’s National Security Agency, along with a support team comprised of DHS privacy, civil liberties and legal personnel.  The agreement will ensure both agencies’ priorities and requests for support are clearly communicated and met. 

                “This structure is designed to put the full weight of our combined capabilities and expertise behind every action taken to protect our vital cyber networks, without altering the authorities or oversight of our separate but complementary missions.  We will improve economy and efficiency by better leveraging vital technologies and personnel to serve both departments’ missions in full adherence to U.S. laws and regulation.  This memorandum of agreement furthers our strong commitment to protecting civil liberties and privacy.

                “We look forward to building on this vitally important step toward greater collaboration as we continue to work together on new and better ways to protect our economy and critical networks against evolving threats by those who seek to harm the United States.”

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