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Biden nominated Lt. Gen. Timothy Hough to lead the NSA’s Cyber ​​Command


FILE: Air Force Lt. Gen. Timothy Hough is President Biden’s nominee to lead the National Security Agency and US Cyber ​​Command.

US Air Force

President Biden has nominated Air Force Lt. Gen. Timothy Hough to lead the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber ​​Command, an Air Force official confirmed to CBS News on Tuesday.

If confirmed by the Senate, Huff, currently the deputy commander of US Cyber ​​Command, will be promoted to the rank of four-star general and take over the reins of a dual-hat position.

However, Huff’s nomination, like hundreds of others so far, could be delayed in the Senate.

republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, who sits on the Armed Services Committee and the Veterans Affairs Committee, is blocking military nominations. She said she is holding the nomination to protest the Pentagon’s recent policy that states with restrictive abortion laws cover certain travel expenses for service members who need abortions.

A Tuberville spokesman confirmed that his hold would also apply to the nomination of the halves.

As of now, more than 200 nominations are pending and that number is likely to rise. To get around the block, the Senate could vote on each nominee individually, but that would take a significant amount of time.

Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned in congressional testimony earlier this month that the impact of the hold would be “quite significant.”

“From a readiness standpoint, these are — these are flag officers so they’re in charge of very large, complex organizations. And that’s uncomfortable for the organization. And that’s going to be, I think, a significant degradation of readiness over time, capability, morale,” Milley said.

Politico first reported Haugh’s nomination.

If confirmed, Huff will replace Army Gen. Paul Nakasone, who has led the US Cyber ​​Command and the NSA since 2018. Nakasone, who played an important role in supervision Cyber ​​operations To protect multiple US election From foreign interference, it is expected to exit by the end of this year.

Nakasone oversees a new launch Cybersecurity Collaboration Center At the NSA, collaboration between the public and private sectors is designed to increase as both combat massive cyberattacks and damaging ransomware attacks.

The change at the NSA comes as the agency pushes for congressional reauthorization of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which allows U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies to collect emails, phone calls and electronic data from telecommunications providers. . Written messages. The provision expires at the end of this year.

Critics of Section 702 say it has thing To conduct surveillance on US citizens whose information could be swept up by the program if they interacted with foreign targets. National security officials argue that it is important in cybersecurity, counterintelligence, and counterterrorism; Nakasone called it “the #1 authority we need.”

Representatives of the NSA and US Cyber ​​Command did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Huff’s nomination.

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Eleanor Watson

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