[ISN] Clinton to Outline Cyberthreat Policy

From: mea culpa (jerichoat_private)
Date: Fri May 22 1998 - 13:39:29 PDT

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       Clinton to outline cyberthreat policy
       By Tim Clark
       Staff Writer, CNET NEWS.COM
       May 21, 1998, 5:15 p.m. PT
       In a commencement speech at the U.S. Naval Academy tomorrow,
       President Clinton is expected to highlight cyberthreats to the
       nation's electronic infrastructure, both from deliberate sabotage and
       from accidents such as the satellite outage that silenced pagers
       across the nation this week.
       Clinton also is expected to outline two new security directives, one
       aimed at traditional terrorism and the other at cyberthreats. The
       cyberthreats directive follows last year's report from the
       Presidential Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection.
       But controversy has emerged See roundup: Washington focuses on
       tech, Net over the policy and how much authority it would give the
       FBI and Justice Department vs. a broader public-private sector
       effort that the presidential commission had urged.
       "Clinton will announce a new policy for cyberterrorism based on the
       recommendations of the commission, stressing the fact that we need
       private-sector help to solve this problem, since the private sector
       owns 80 to 90 percent of the nation's infrastructure," said P. Dennis
       LeNard Jr., deputy public affairs officer at PCCIP. Under the new
       policy, that agency will become the Critical Infrastructure Assurance
       Office, or CIAO.
       Clinton also is expected to order federal agencies to come up with a
       plan within three to five years that identifies vulnerabilities of the
       nation's infrastructure and responses to attacks as well as creating a
       plan to reconstitute the U.S. defense system and economy if a
       cyberattack succeeds, said a former White House staffer familiar with
       Clinton's speech.
       But James Adams, chief executive of United Press International
       (UPI), blasted the plan in a speech earlier this week, saying the
       prominent roles given the FBI and Justice Department would prove
       unworkable and could threaten civil liberties.
       "We have two of the most inert bureaucracies trying to control and
       constrain probably the most energetic and dynamic sector of the
       private economy," Adams said in an interview today. "This simply
       doesn't make sense. You actually need the private sector to say, 'We
       hear what you say, and here's how it should work.'"
       LeNard said the president has multiple options and may not select such
       a strong role for law enforcement on the issue.
       However, Attorney General Janet Reno in February outlined plans
       for an FBI-run National Infrastructure Protection Center to counter
       hackers, crackers, and others who commit computer crimes.
       Clinton also may name National Security Council staffer Richard
       Clarke, a former assistant secretary of state, as the White
       House-based coordinator of both the cyberthreat initiative and a
       broader antiterrorist effort, which also is part of Clinton's
       commencement address, according to reports today in the Baltimore
       Sun and the Los Angeles Times.
       The former White House staffer said political infighting may mean
       Clarke will not be appointed tomorrow and emphasized that Clarke would
       be a coordinator, not a cyberthreat "czar."
       "He will work with Cabinet-level people to assure that agencies find
       their own vulnerabilities," said the official, who asked not to be
       The same official outlined the essentials of Clinton's policy--subject
       to the last-minute changes for which the president is famous.
       Reno's NIPC, which would include intelligence and military agencies,
       would work with local law enforcement to monitor classified and public
       information on vulnerabilities and threats.
       A separate center for information-sharing and analysis would be
       developed with the business community to look at vulnerabilities in
       the privately owned infrastructure--satellite systems, power grids,
       telecommunications, water systems, and the like. It also would include
       a broad public education campaign.
       How to share information between private industry on one side and law
       enforcement and intelligence agencies on the other remains a sticky
       "The Department of Justice is not keen on sharing information that
       could lead to criminal prosecutions," the official said. "The private
       sector does not trust the FBI, and the FBI doesn't want to give out
       secrets. They're afraid that if they share information, they may
       someday have to testify in court."
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