White House picks tech entrepreneur for security post

Rod Beckström has been chosen to run the new National Cyber Security Center, an agency charged with coordinating efforts to protect the federal government's computer networks.

A Silicon Valley entrepreneur has been chosen to run the new National Cyber Security Center, an agency charged with coordinating efforts to protect the federal government's computer networks from cyberattacks, according to published reports.

The Starfish and the Spider

Rod Beckström, 47, is expected to be appointed to the post Thursday and report directly to Michael Chertoff, the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, according to reports in The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. The secretive center was created by a national security directive signed by President Bush in January.

In the book The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations, which he co-authored with Ori Brafman, Beckström wrote about the power of decentralized networks in organizations. He has gone so far as to say the concepts he outlined in the book could help the U.S. government in its dealings with al-Qaida.

Beckström co-founded CATS Software, a derivatives and risk management software company, in his garage when he was 24, according to his Web site. He recently co-founded Twiki.net, a company that supports open-source wikis.

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