Switchboard: White House agrees with its cybersecurity czar, says he doesn’t need to code.


An August 24, 2014 photo shows the front of the White House as seen from Lafayette Square in Washington, DC.(Mandel NGANMANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Published every weekday, the Switchboard is your morning helping of hand-picked stories from the Switch team.

Does the White House’s cybersecurity czar need to be a coder? He says no. Many cybersecurity experts vented frustrations online after Michael Daniel, the White House cybersecurity coordinator and a long-term federal employee, suggested he would be distracted if he were too "in the weeds" when it comes to specific technical security solutions. But the White House stood behind his comments, the Switch reports.

Google Fiber is fast, but is it fair? "Frustrated by the hammerlock of U.S. broadband providers, Google has searched for ways around them to provide faster Internet speeds at lower cost, via everything from high-speed fiber to satellites," writes Alistair Barr at the Wall Street Journal. "As Google's model gathers momentum, it stirs up questions about whether residents of poor or underserved neighborhoods will be left behind."

Secret Service estimates type of malware that led to Target breach is affecting over 1,000 U.S. businesses. The Department of Homeland Security warned retailers about point of sale malware -- the type of malicious code that led to the Target credit breach last winter -- in an advisory Friday. "The Secret Service estimated that more than 1,000 businesses in the United States have been affected by one type of PoS malware, dubbed 'Backoff,'" the Switch reports.

Speed cameras issued thousands of bogus tickets in Long Island.  "Nassau County of New York is forgiving thousands of speeding tickets issued this summer from malfunctioning speed cameras, totaling about $2.4 million in fines," David Kravets at Ars Technica reports.

Democrats, Republicans go after data-driven TV ads that know — like, really know – voters. "DirecTV and Dish Network customers may notice something a little different this election season: Your television ads know who you are," reports the Switch's Nancy Scola. "The satellite television providers have partnered with Democratic and Republican data shops to harness information about their 20 million customers and deliver television ads tailored to the viewer."

Andrea Peterson covers technology policy for The Washington Post, with an emphasis on cybersecurity, consumer privacy, transparency, surveillance and open government.

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Jiaxi Lu · August 22, 2014

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