Industry responds to GovNet proposal

Industry responds to GovNet proposal

The General Services Administration is forming a team to evaluate industry responses to a proposal for a secure intranet for federal agencies.

Richard Clarke, the president’s cybersecurity adviser, proposed the network and the GSA issued a request for information in October. GovNet would be a private voice and data network with no connections to commercial public networks. Industry was invited to comment on the feasibility, technical challenges and solutions, schedules and costs for such a program. GSA received comments from 167 companies.

Although the deadline for submitting comments was Nov. 21, a GSA official said that additional comments probably would be accepted as the process continues.

Clarke said that some government functions, such as air traffic control, manned space flights, disaster relief and law enforcement, were important enough to warrant the added security of a separate, air-gapped network.

“Encryption is not enough,” Clarke said. “I am also concerned with minimizing service outages caused by distributed denial of service attacks.”

A team of representatives from 16 agencies will evaluate the responses and report to the White House by February. The Software Engineering Institute of Carnegie Mellon University also will independently evaluate the material.

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