6 September 1997
Source: Hardcopy of The Washington Post

The Washington Post, September 6, 1997, p. A3:

Panel Urges U.S. to Power Up Cyber Security

Earmarking of $1 Billion to Protect Computer Nets From Threats Backed

By George Lardner Jr.

A presidential commission warned yesterday that government spending to protect the nation's "critical infrastructures," particularly its computer networks, needs to be doubled in the next year.

At a briefing filled with bureaucratic jargon, members of the President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection said that federal spending on research and development of defenses against "physical and cyber threats"--ranging from terrorists to hackers to plain old accidents--now totals about $250 million a year.

Commission member John T. Davis, representing the National Security Agency, said the protection effort needs to be "jump-started" by raising those expenditures to $500 million in fiscal 1999 and $100 million each succeeding year until they reach $1 billion in 2004.

"Research investment is inadequate, and progress is too slow in this area," Davis said, summing up the reasoning behind the recommendations the commission will send to President Clinton next month.

The group's starkest presentation was contained in a chart asking viewers to imagine a series of cross-country disasters including a pipeline disruption in Alaska, loss of a submarine cable in the Pacific, a power outage in the Pacific Northwest, two bridges down in the Midwest, an oil refinery fire in Texas, a threat to the water supply in Chicago, bomb threats to two buildings in the South, loss of two Internet providers in the Northeast, and FBI phones in Washington jammed.

"What do we do?" the next slide asked. "Is it coincidence? Can you respond?"

Former senator Sam Nunn (D-Ga.) a co-chair of the commission's advisory committee, said after the session that one of the challenges for those concerned was to put in plain English the dangers of insufficient protection so that the public could understand them. Nunn said, by way of example, that he was startled to find from Senate hearings he conducted last year how much potentially damaging information--information he had been reluctant to publish--was available on the Internet "to the hackers of the world."

Davis said that the government should get started soon on developing a secure "Next Generation Internet" for official use. He also suggested that private industry should increase its investment in research and development of more secure information systems to $1 billion or $1.5 billion. Industry now invests between $120 million and $355 million a year in such research and development, Davis said.

The commission, headed by retired Air Force Gen. Robert T. Marsh, was set up last year to research threats to infrastructures vital to the nation's defense or economic security. The commission has studied potential threats to telecommunications, electric power, banking and finance, water supply, gas and oil, emergency services and continuity of government services.

All are increasingly reliant on information technology. According to commission member Nancy J. Wong, the United States uses 42 percent of the world's computing power, 60 percent of the world's Internet assets, while Americans are logged onto computers a total of 200 million hours a day. The federal government alone spends $40 billion a year on information technology systems, including computers, terminals, databases and software.


See Web site for PCCIP: http://www.pccip.gov/



PO Box 46258
Washington, DC 20050-6258

August 29, 1997 Contact: Carla Sims
(703) 696-9395



WHAT: Former Senator Sam Nunn and former Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick will chair the first official meeting of the Advisory Committee to the President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection (PCCIP). The Committee will review the PCCIP's preliminary findings and policy proposals. During the past year, the Commission has met with public and industry leaders from across the country to conduct research on physical and cyber threats to eight critical infrastructures: telecommunications, electric power systems, banking and finance, transportation, water supply systems, gas and oil storage and transportation, emergency services, and continuity of government services. The Commission will submit its final report to the President on October 13, 1997.
WHEN: Friday, September 5, 1997
9 a.m. until noon (public session)
1 p.m. - 6 p.m. (classified session, closed to the public)
WHERE: National Press Club, Ballroom
529 14th Street N.W.
Washington, D.C.
WHO: Scheduled to speak are Hon. Sam Nunn and Hon. Jamie Gorelick, Chairman Robert T. Marsh and Commissioners Stevan Mitchell, Dept. of Justice; John Davis, National Security Agency; Peter Daly, U.S. Treasury; Nancy Wong, Pacific Gas and Electric Company; Tom Falvey, Dept. of Transportation; and Irv Pikus, Dept. of Commerce.

The Advisory Committee includes: Charles Lee, Chairman and CEO, GTE Corporation; Erle Nye, Chairman and CEO, Texas Utilities Company; David Campbell, President and CEO, BBN Systems; Floyd Wicks, President, Southern California Water Company; Margaret Greene, VP and General Counsel, BellSouth Corporation; Maurice Greenberg, Chairman and CEO, American International Group; and Elvin Moon, President, E.W. Moon Engineering & Construction.

WHY: The PCCIP was established to examine physical and cyber threats to U.S. critical infrastructures. "There is widespread recognition that the nature and scope of the threat to America’s critical infrastructure has changed as a result of advances in technology, therefore we should act now to protect our future," said Chairman Robert T. Marsh.

Meeting Agenda

The table below presents a tentative agenda for the event. Please keep in mind that this agenda is subject to change.


Welcome Chairman Tom Marsh, PCCIP
Introductory Statements Co-Chairs Senator Sam Nunn and Jamie Gorelick, Advisory Committee
Perspective Briefing Mr. Phil Lacombe, Staff Director, PCCIP
Sector Presentations
  • Energy
  • Banking & Finance
  • Information & Communications
  • Physical Distribution
  • Vital Human Services
PCCIP Sector Team Leaders:
  • Commissioner Dave Jones
  • Commissioner Peter Daly
  • Commissioner Nancy Wong
  • Commissioner Tom Falvey
  • Commissioner Irv Pikus
Legal Landscaping Briefing Commissioner Steve Mitchell
Technical Briefing (R & D) Commissioner John Davis
Summation/Closing Remarks Co-Chairs Senator Sam Nunn and Jamie Gorelick, Advisory Committee

Classified Briefing and Discussion from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Further Information

The official notice of the Advisory Committee meeting is published in the Federal Register. As a convenience to our visitors, we have reproduced the text below. Please note that there are two notices; the second changes the location of the meeting to the National Press Club.

Federal Register Notices of the Meeting

[Federal Register: August 21, 1997 (Volume 62, Number 162)]
[Page 44497]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Advisory Committee for the President's Commission on Critical 
Infrastructure Protection; Advisory Committee Meeting Notice

TIME AND DATE: 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m., Friday, September 5, 1997.

ACTION: Notice of open meeting.


SUMMARY: Pursuant to the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee 
Act (Pub. L. 92-463, 86 Stat. 770), notice is hereby given for the 
first meeting of the Advisory Committee on the President's Commission 
on Critical Infrastructure Protection.

ADDRESSES: The Hyatt Arlington @ Key Bridge, 1325 Wilson Blvd., 
Arlington VA 22209, (703) 525-1234. This facility is accessible to 
persons with disabilities.

Carla Sims, Public Affairs Officer, (703) 696-9395, comments@pccip.gov. 
Hearing-impaired individuals are advised to contact the Virginia Relay 
Center [Text Telephone (800) 828-1120 or Voice (800) 828-1140], or 
their local relay system.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Advisory Committee was established by 
the President to provide expert advice to the Commission as it develops 
a comprehensive national policy and implementation strategy for 
protecting the nation's critical infrastructures. The Committee is co-
chaired by the Honorable Jamie Gorelick, Vice Chair of Fannie Mae, and 
the Honorable Sam Nunn, Partner with the Law Firm of King & Spaulding. 
The Committee currently consists of eight members representing various 
industry sectors.

PURPOSE OF THE MEETING: This is the first advisory meeting of the 
Committee. The Committee will receive information from the Commission 
and focus on Committee operations.

TENTATIVE AGENDA: The Advisory Committee meeting will focus on the 
findings of the Commission. Commissioners will present results of 
studies of the critical infrastructures to include the legal landscape 
and research and development.

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION: On September 5, 1997, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 
p.m., the meeting will be open to the public. Written comments may be 
filed with the Committee after the meeting. Written comments may be 
given to the Designated Federal Officer, after the conclusion of the 
open meeting; sent to PCCIP, P.O. Box 46258, Washington, D.C., 20050-
6258; or e-mailed to comments@pccip.gov.

CLOSED MEETING DELIBERATIONS: On September 5, 1997, from 1:00 p.m. to 
6:00 p.m., the meeting will be closed to permit discussion of national 
security matters. (5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(1)(1982)).
    Notice of this meeting is given under the Federal Advisory 
Committee Act (5 U.S.C. app. 2).
James H. Kurtz,
Executive Secretary, President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure 
[FR Doc. 97-22176 Filed 8-20-97; 8:45 am]

[Federal Register: August 26, 1997 (Volume 62, Number 165)]
[Page 45283]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Advisory Committee for the President's Commission on Critical 
Infrastructure Protection; Advisory Committee Meeting Notice: Change of 

ACTION: Notice of open meeting: Change of location.


TIME AND DATE: 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Friday, September 5, 1997.
    This document announces the change of location of the September 5, 
1997, Advisory Committee Meeting, appearing in the August 21, 1997, 
Federal Register, Publication Number 62 FR, Page 44497. The meeting 
will now be held at the National Press Club, Ballroom, 529 14th Street, 
NW., (Corner of 14th and F Streets) Washington, DC 20045.
    Please refer to the original meeting notice published August 21, 
1997, 62 FR, Page 44497, for further information regarding the 
September 5, 1997, Advisory Committee Meeting.
James H. Kurtz,
Executive Secretariat, President's Commission on Critical 
Infrastructure Protection.
[FR Doc. 97-22731 Filed 8-22-97; 10:05 am]