Förderverein Informationstechnik und Gesellschaft

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 <> To: Subject: FC: Clinton creates new position to thwart hackers, cyberterror Send reply to:

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 <> Subject: Secrecy News -- 01/05/01

SECRECY NEWS 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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