[ISN] House Subcommittees Plan Cyberterrorism Hearings

From: mea culpa (jerichoat_private)
Date: Thu Feb 04 1999 - 12:21:07 PST

  • Next message: mea culpa: "[ISN] The Secret Man of Power"

    Forwarded From: phreakmoi <hackereliteat_private>
    House Subcommittees Plan Cyberterrorism Hearings
    WASHINGTON, DC, U.S.A., 1999 FEB 3 (Newsbytes) -- By Robert MacMillan,
    Newsbytes. Two House of Representatives subcommittees have announced that
    they are planning a joint hearing on the controversial idea circulating in
    the US federal government of posting "worst-case scenarios" of physical
    terrorism and attacks on the Internet. 
    Health and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Mike Bilirakis, R-Fla., and
    Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich.,
    said the joint hearing, "Internet Posting of Worst-Case Scenarios: A
    Roadmap for Terrorists?" will take place Feb. 10. 
    The announcement comes shortly after criticism last month from House
    Commerce Committee Chairman Thomas Bliley, R-Va., that a recent speech
    President Clinton gave on both physical and Internet-based terrorism did
    not go far enough on preventive measures against terrorist attacks. 
    "Unfortunately, your recent proposals appear to do nothing to prevent such
    acts before they occur," Bliley wrote to the president.  "While we
    certainly must be better prepared to deal with the consequences of
    terrorist attacks when they happen -- something your proposals target, we
    must emphasize prevention to the greatest degree possible." 
    Bliley said that he is particularly concerned about the posting of
    "sensitive information about US chemical and gas facilities in an easily
    searchable format on the World Wide Web." 
    His comments echo other criticisms of the proposal by the Environmental
    Protection Agency (EPA) to post disaster data online.  While it ostensibly
    would be used to aid people living near areas where disasters may occur,
    Bliley said the information could "empower terrorists to pinpoint attacks
    on our neighborhoods and towns. 
    "Another threat to our national security that your proposal does not
    address is the potential posting of worst-case scenario information from
    66,000 industrial, federal or other facilities in an easily searchable
    format..." Bliley said. "The EPA has backed off from its dangerous plan to
    post such data. But the FBI, the intelligence community and emergency
    response professionals continue to express concern about third-party
    access to and dissemination of such information in a searchable format." 
    Bliley said "we must protect America's right to know health and safety
    information in a way that does not empower terrorists to pinpoint attacks
    on our neighborhoods and towns." 
    Newsbytes in early September noted that the Chemical Manufacturers
    Association released a report that concluded that the EPA's plans to
    release the data would endanger "tens of thousands of industrial
    The FBI, CIA, National Fire Chiefs' Association, Bliley, and other
    legislators all had presented their worries with the EPA's plan to release
    the data. Environmental groups, however, have supported the plan.  They
    claim that residents near chemical manufacturing facilities need to know
    what dangers exist. 
    The Chemical Manufacturers Association in September said it proposed a
    system by which the information would be released on both paper and a
    secure CD-ROM, but only to government officials and other need-to-know
    recipients. The EPA, according to the association, had rejected this idea,
    though it since told Congress that it would make the information available
    to state and local agencies and libraries on a "secure computer system." 
    Reported by Newsbytes News Network, http://www.newsbytes.com . 
    Subscribe: mail majordomoat_private with "subscribe isn".
    Today's ISN Sponsor: Internet Security Institute [www.isi-sec.com]

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Apr 13 2001 - 13:18:05 PDT