Administration gives nod to security

Budget of the United States Government Fiscal Year 2001

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Even though the administration has declared information security a priority, because security is being built into systems there is little money for agency security programs in the budget released today by the Office of Management and Budget.

OMB and the administration are encouraging agencies to incorporate security into the architecture and development of their systems. With this approach, money that would have been allotted for security is included in the overall price tag for a particular program or system.

But the president's budget did leave some agencies break out money for security initiatives:

    * $4 million for a new public-key infrastructure at the Justice Department that would enable staff members to accept and send secure e-mail and electronic documents.

    * $13 million for "necessary expenses of basic and enhanced security services" at the Commerce Department.

    * $48 million for a new Institute for Information Infrastructure Protection at Commerce that would support the research and development through industry and universities of security technologies.

    * $12 million for the General Services Administration's Office of Information Security, which provides and supports information security solutions for use across government.

    * $6.6 million for an agencywide cybersecurity program at the Agriculture Department.

The administration restated its commitment to have agencies issue at least 100,000 digital signatures or digital certificates that would enable citizens to exchange information securely with the government by December 2000. This initiative is one of nine issued by Clinton last December in a memo on electronic government.

In the president's budget, the security push focuses on protecting individuals' privacy. Several security initiatives are aimed at protecting the privacy and security of medical records, for instance.

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