One part of the members of the National Infrastructure Advisory Council, responsible among the other things for national cybersecurity, have resigned, because as cited in the resignation letter they consider that the administration’s approach to cybersecurity is not satisfactory, as well as because they strongly believe that Trump and his administration have considerably weakened the “moral infrastructure” of the U.S.
All the councilors submitted their resignations on Monday and they were accepted by the White House the next day. According to Roll Call, seven of 27 Council members have resigned and their resignation letter was shortly after that published by Nextgov.
Some of the councilors that resigned were appointed on that position during Obama’s presidency, among them being DJ Patil, former U.S. Chief Data Scientist and Cristin Dorgelo, former Office of Science and Technology Policy Chief of Staff. Taking the above mentioned into account, the large number of problems stated in the resignation letter didn’t came unexpectedly. The resignation letter criticizes Trump for his withdrawal from Paris climate agreement as well as for his provocative statements related to the attacks in Charlottesville during an event intended to be focused on infrastructure.
This is a short excerpt from the resignation letter: “The moral infrastructure of our Nation is the foundation on which our physical infrastructure is built”. “The Administration’s actions undermine that foundation.”
When it comes to the Administration, the councilors in the resignation letter stated that it didn’t pay the necessary attention to the urgent national security issues within the NIAC’s scope of concerns, and it also didn’t adequately reacted to rational advices from advisors and experts. Apart from this, the letter also focused on poor measures that should protect the cybersecurity of the critical systems because they are of vital importance for all the country and it citizens, including election systems as well.
Trump has requested the improvement of government networks security, but he has not shown specific interest for issues that relate to “the cyber” in his words. He particularly refused to accept the judgment of U.S. intelligence professionals that Russia tried to influence the 2016 presidential results through hacking and propaganda campaign and even backed away from the idea for cyber-partnership with Russia. The administration also failed to present their cybersecurity plan by the target date they personally set.
Not long after the mass resignations, NIAC came up with the information that drastic measures were taken in order to prevent a potential “9/11-level cyberattack.”