Reports: U.S. to name head of new cybersecurity center

Beckstrom is a tech entrepreneur, author

WASHINGTON — Tech entrepreneur and author Rod Beckstrom will be named to run the new National Cyber Security Center at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, according to news reports.

Beckstrom, founder of Cats Software and co-founder of, a company that offers an open-source wiki software system, would head the center, created by President George Bush in a January directive, according to reports in The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. The Bush administration has largely been silent about the cybersecurity center.

In addition to founding a handful of tech companies and nonprofit groups, Beckstrom is co-author of the book The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations, which praises the nimbleness of decentralized organizations. Beckstrom has suggested that the U.S. government could better fight terrorist groups by taking a more decentralized approach, including using outsourcing and deploying more autonomous special operations units on the battlefield.

Beckstrom would report directly to DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff. In September 2006, Chertoff appointed Greg Garcia, the former vice president for information security policy and programs at the Information Technology Association of America, as DHS assistant secretary for cybersecurity and telecommunications. Garcia reports to a DHS undersecretary.

An official announcement about Beckstrom's appointment could come later today.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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