Bush panel to fight cyberterror

President Bush issued an executive order creating the Critical Infrastructure Board

Critical Infrastructure Protection in the Information Age

President Bush, calling the protection of information systems critical to the nation's well-being, issued an executive order creating a panel to fight cyberterrorism.

The President's Critical Infrastructure Board has the task of preventing disruptions of the nation's critical infrastructures, Bush said in an executive order issued Oct. 16. Critical infrastructures include such things as transportation and electrical power.

Protecting the networks is vital to protecting "the people, economy, essential human and government services and national security of the United States," Bush said.

The board is responsible for coordinating federal efforts to protect information systems, the executive order says.

In addition to creating the board itself, the executive order puts the director of the Office of Management and Budget in charge of implementing governmentwide policies, standards and guidelines for protecting federal agency information systems.

The president notes that agencies are "responsible and accountable for providing and maintaining adequate levels of security for information systems, including emergency preparedness communications systems.

"Cost-effective security shall be built into and made an integral part of government information systems, especially those critical systems that support the national security and other essential government programs. Additionally, security should enable, and not unnecessarily impede, department and agency business operations," the executive order says.

A key task of the board will be coordinating efforts with industry, which runs many of the nation's information networks that support critical infrastructures.

The board will be made up of Bush administration Cabinet members, along with many other top presidential aides.

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