http://news.com.au/common/story_page/0,4057,4044489%255E15319,00.html Karen Dearne The Australian 02apr02 THE need to safeguard Australia's largely privately-owned critical IT infrastructure has prompted the Federal Government to hold high-level talks with business leaders. Attorney-General Daryl Williams has formed a task force that met in Sydney for two days last week to discuss ways of protecting vital services from damage and disruption due to terrorism or natural disasters. The Prime Minister Mr Howard will receive a report on the talks, which were attended by representatives from a wide cross-section of business and government agencies responsible for essential public services. This includes all information systems necessary to support banking and finance services, telecommunications, transport, power and water supplies. "One complicating factor is that most of Australia's critical infrastructure is privately owned. Maintenance and protection is largely the responsibility of business," Mr Williams said. "Under the National Anti-Terrorist Plan, the states and territories are responsible for the protection of physical infrastructure, such as roads, railway lines, sea and airports, as well as many of our national icons such as the MCG and the Sydney Opera House." Mr Williams said while the Federal Government had a co-ordinating role on matters of national security, "it is equally clear that this responsibility does not rest with the Federal Government alone". Meanwhile, in the US, the Bush administration is establishing a central office to coordinate the government's response to cyber-attacks. US agencies have long collaborated with private corporations on security issues through the FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC), formed in 1998 to monitor the nation's computer systems controlling banking, water, power, telecommunications and government. The NIPC is one of several agencies to be rolled into the new information co-ordination centre, headed by President Bush's cyberspace security adviser, Richard Clarke. The new Homeland Security Advisory System is also well on track. It aims to build an effective communications structure to disseminate information on the risk of terrorist attack to all levels of government. - ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail.
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