Critical Infrastructures: Background, Policy, and Implementation
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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The nations health, wealth, and security rely on the production and distribution of certain goods and services. The array of physical assets, processes and organizations across which these goods and services move are called critical infrastructures e.g. electricity, the power plants that generate it, and the electric grid upon which it is distributed. Computers and communications, themselves critical infrastructures, are increasingly tying these infrastructures together. There has been growing concern that this reliance on computers and computer networks raises the vulnerability of the nations critical infrastructures to cyber attacks. In May 1998, President Clinton released Presidential Decision Directive No. 63. The Directive set up groups within the federal government to develop and implement plans that would protect government-operated infrastructures and called for a dialogue between government and the private sector to develop a National Infrastructure Assurance Plan that would protect all of the nations critical infrastructures by the year 2003. While the Directive called for both physical and cyber protection from both man-made and natural events, implementation focused on cyber protection against man-made cyber events i.e. computer hackers. However, given the physical damage caused by the September 11 attacks and the subsequent impact on the communications, finance, and transportation services, physical protections of critical infrastructures is receiving greater attention. Following the events of September 11, the Bush Administration released two relevant Executive Orders EOs. EO 13228, signed October 8, 2001 established the Office of Homeland Security. Among its duties, the Office shall coordinate efforts to protect the United States and its critical infrastructure from the consequences of terrorist attacks.
- Government and Political Science
- Civil Defense