How White House plans to fight cyberterrorism

How White House plans to fight cyberterrorism

President Bush has released his long-awaited presidential order creating a high-level board to protect the nation's critical information systems.

Executive Order 13231, published today in the Federal Register, launches a huge administrative apparatus. While it gives somewhat more authority and staff to Richard A. Clarke, Bush's cybersecurity adviser, Office of Management and Budget director Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. gets overall responsibility for governmentwide security policy and implementation.

Clarke will chair the newly created President's Critical Infrastructure Protection Board which, under the order, has responsibility to 'coordinate and have cognizance of federal efforts and programs that relate to protection of information systems. ' The information technology revolution has changed the way business is transacted, government operates and national defense is conducted,' the order said.

Clarke's staff will work at the White House and be drawn from executive branch personnel detailed to the board. Funding will come from the Homeland Security Office and from agencies represented on the board.

But Bush's order reserves for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and CIA director George Tenet the responsibility for their own infrastructure protection policies and standards.

Board members, besides Daniels, will include Attorney General John Ashcroft and top-ranking officials of cabinet departments and independent agencies. The order does not abolish existing groups such as the Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office, the Federal Computer Incident Response Center or the National Infrastructure Protection Center, but the board will assume general leadership of all of them.

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