Telecom experts gear up for new administration

The National Plan for Critical Infrastructure Protection

A presidential advisory committee responsible for monitoring the security of the national telecommunications system has established a task force to help bring the next administration up to speed on critical infrastructure protection issues after the November elections.

The National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee, made up of 30 senior corporate leaders representing major sectors of the telecommunications industry, last month established an Administration Transition Task Force, a spokeswoman for NSTAC said.

Established by executive order in 1982, NSTAC provides federal security officials with critical telecommunications expertise that is not available in government.

NSTAC's subcommittees and working groups analyze key issues in telecommunications security policy and issue reports to the president about every nine months. The task force will work closely with the new administration's transition team, and the first official report to the new president is scheduled for early next spring.

As for the committee's "white papers" to the president, "Internet time" has forced the Clinton administration to ask the committee to ramp up its timelines on certain issues, the NSTAC spokeswoman said. "We will now provide reports as they are available for time-sensitive issues, rather than hold them for the annual report to the president," she said.

NSTAC also has established a task force to facilitate the sharing of information between the private sector and the government about critical infrastructure protection. Please see "Avoiding 'digital Exxon Valdez'" for details.

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