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[FYI] (Fwd) FC: Clinton creates new position to thwart hackers, cybe

------- Forwarded message follows -------
Date sent:      	Fri, 5 Jan 2001 11:56:14 -0800 (PST)
From:           	Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>
To:             	politech@politechbot.com
Subject:        	FC: Clinton creates new position to thwart hackers, cyberterror
Send reply to:  	declan@well.com

WASHINGTON, Jan 5 (Reuters) - President Bill Clinton, in his waning
days in office, has ordered a retooling of the country's
counterintelligence efforts to take account of new espionage threats
and protect the private sector, the White House said on Friday. The
order will establish a new top government position -- a national
counterintelligence executive charged with overseeing activities
between the FBI, CIA and other agencies, and making sure they have
enough money. White House National Security Council spokesman P.J.
Crowley said Clinton signed the order in late December 2000 with a
view toward addressing a changing espionage environment in which
computer hackers can steal government and corporate secrets. [...]
U.S. officials have long worried about the possibility of a terrorist
attack on the country's electricity grid or telephone systems. And
protecting company research and development secrets has increasingly
been viewed as a priority within the government. [...]

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 05 Jan 2001 14:25:26 -0500
From: Steven Aftergood <saftergood@igc.org>
Subject: Secrecy News -- 01/05/01

from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
January 5, 2001



The White House today is announcing the establishment of a new
interagency body, created by Presidential Decision Directive, to
coordinate counterintelligence (CI) activities across the government.

"To deal with the new CI threat environment, the CI community must be
restructured and transposed from a largely reactive state to a modern,
innovative program that is much more proactive," said John McGaffin,
senior adviser to the National Counterintelligence Center.  Mr.
McGaffin discussed the new initiative several months ago at a meeting
of the Security Policy Advisory Board.

One of the first things the new entity will do is to ask what
information really needs to be protected.  "The principle activities
of [the new organization] will include the identification of the
critical assets that must be protected by CI," said Mr. McGaffin.

This is a potentially awkward question for many agencies, because as
soon as one asks what information is genuinely sensitive, it
immediately becomes clear that an enormous amount of non-sensitive
information is being protected for no valid national security reason.

On the other hand, government bureaucracies are well-equipped to
deflect such inquiries.  Neither the National Counterintelligence
Center nor the Security Policy Board, which was likewise created by
Presidential Decision Directive in 1994, have had any fundamental
impact on security policies.

The new initiative was reported today by the New York Times and the
Washington Post. The remarks of John McGaffin on CI-21 and the new
counterintelligence structure may be found here:



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