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Addressing what intelligence officials describe as a gaping vulnerability, the legislation also calls for the appointment of a White House cybersecurity "czar" with unprecedented authority to shut down computer networks, including private ones, if a cyberattack is underway, the officials said.
Blair acknowledged there will be privacy concerns about centralizing cybersecurity, and he said the program should be designed in a way that gives Americans confidence that it is "not being used to gather private information."