DHS will launch emergency net and security-tracking database

The Homeland Security Department this year plans to roll out a unified national emergency information network and a critical infrastructure database.

'We will secure real-time nationwide connectivity between all 50 states and territories,' DHS secretary Tom Ridge said during a speech at George Washington University. 'This will mean multidirectional information sharing'the first phase of which, cyberconnectivity, will be completed within the next three months.'

Ridge said state agencies and the Defense Intelligence Agency have developed the network.

'Let me add that we will also complete the installation of secure videoconferencing capabilities to all governors' offices by July, which will allow greater and much-needed dissemination of classified information to homeland security professionals around the country,' he said.

Then, by December, DHS will launch a unified national critical infrastructure database to pinpoint and monitor the country's greatest vulnerabilities, Ridge said. The database will help governments review existing security measures and take new measures where needed.

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