Last week, Rod Beckstrom, the head of cyber-initiatives at the Department Homeland Security threw in the towel, complaining about over centralization of government cybersecurity activities. This week, a subcommittee of the House Homeland Security Committee held a hearing on cybersecurity with another department cyber czar who threw up his hands in disgust Amit Yoran. The committee hearing featured testimony from the Government Accountability Office.  Sadly, the GAO approach pushes for—used guessed it—centralized solutions.  This approach is deeply flawed. The cyber world is a huge disorganized, complex system that won’t respond well to directions from the White House.

That’s not to say the federal government should do nothing. On the contrary, it’s the wild west out there. See “Combating Enemies Online: State-Sponsored and Terrorist Use of the Internet” But rather than trying to do “everything” about “everything” Washington would be better served by focusing on developing core competencies that would make it and keep it as a “player” in the cyber-world. “Building Cyber Security Leadership for the 21st Century” offers an alternative answer.