Setasides

Bill creates NET Center

An encryption bill introduced last week would create a new federal center to provide encryption and decryption information to law enforcement officials.

The Encryption Protects the Rights of Individuals from Violation and Abuse in Cyberspace (E-Privacy) Act would relax existing controls on the export of encryption products and prohibit domestic control on the use of key recovery, a mechanism that allows law enforcement agents to unscramble encrypted data after obtaining a warrant or other authorization.

The bill, introduced by Sens. John Ashcroft (R-Mo.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), also would create within the Justice Department a National Electronic Technology Center, or NET Center, to provide law enforcement authorities with "information and assistance regarding decryption and access requirements."

The bill authorizes other federal agencies to provide assistance to the NET Center, including loaning personnel to the center.

DOD shakes up C3I

The Defense Department last week announced a restructuring of its command, control, communications and intelligence office that streamlines oversight functions, but not as dramatically as once expected.

More than half a year in the works, the reorganization gives the C3I office the new responsibility of overseeing the Defense Airborne Reconnaissance program, space-related matters and defense aspects of critical infrastructure protection, according to DOD.

The new structure does not split off oversight of intelligence operations, as originally proposed by Defense Secretary William Cohen's Defense Reform Initiative, released in November. The Pentagon backed off that proposal earlier this year because of concern that the necessary legislative changes would take too long to make.

DOD also confirmed that the assistant secretary of Defense for C3I— a position currently held by Arthur L. Money— will serve as the chief information officer.

ASD/C3I will be supported by a principal deputy and by deputy assistant secretaries of Defense: DASD for intelligence; security and information operations; C3I surveillance and reconnaissance and space systems; and for CIO policy and implementation.

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