Defense IT clears hurdle
- By George I. Seffers
- Oct 11, 2000
The House Armed Service's Committee's conference summary on H.R. 4205
In hammering out differences in House and Senate versions of the fiscal
2001 Defense authorization bill, House Armed Services Committee conferees
addressed phasing in the Navy/Marine Corps Intranet and coordinating U.S.
information security policy.
Committee conferees announced Oct. 6 that they authorized $309.9 billion — $4.5 billion above the White House request. Information technology provisions
of the bill (H.R. 4205) include:
* Forcing the Navy to phase in implementation of the Navy/Marine Corps
Intranet, prohibiting naval shipyards, aviation depots and the Marine Corps
from participating until after budget year 2001.
* Providing $2 million in funding for the Army's Land Information Warfare
Activity, an organization tasked with monitoring Army networks and helping
to coordinate responses to cyberattacks. The organization was not funded
under the president's budget request.
* Establishing an Electromagnetic Pulse Commission to assess the threat
a nuclear weapon might pose to U.S. information and electronic systems.
Theoretically, a hostile nation could detonate a nuclear weapon in space
above U.S. territory, and the resulting electromagnetic pulse could wreak
havoc on electronic systems, including automobiles, traffic signals, air
traffic control systems, and military command and control systems.
Conferees' steps to reform and coordinate U.S. information security
* Authorizing $15 million for a Defense Department information security
scholarship and grant program intended to recruit and retain computer specialists.
* Authorizing $5 million to establish the Institute for Defense Computer
Security and Information Protection to conduct research and technology on
* Requiring the president to report to Congress on each federal agency's
progress on developing internal information security plans.