U.S. Plans Y2K Bunker, Clinton Aide To Tell Senate

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U.S. Plans Y2K Bunker, Clinton Aide To Tell Senate By Jim Wolf

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The government is setting up an unprecedented command center to cope with any year 2000 emergencies, President Clinton's top trouble-shooter for the issue prepared to tell Congress Thursday.

In a draft statement, John Koskinen, head of the President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion, said federal authorities were urging critical U.S. industries to join in by funneling updates on their systems to the government.

``While monitoring and collecting information on system operations across the globe ... has never been tried before, I am confident that the structure we have put in place'' will work, he said.

Koskinen said the focus of his work was shifting to ``event management'' to deal with possible disruptions caused by confused computers.

``It has become increasingly clear that there is a growing desire and need for timely and accurate information about system operations as the world moves into the new millennium,'' Koskinen said in testimony prepared for the special Senate panel on the technology problem. An advance copy was obtained by Reuters.

Until now, the U.S. drive to cope with the problem commonly known as Y2K has focused on spurring software fixes and contingency planning at home and abroad.

At the heart of the new phase is the Y2K Information Coordination Center (ICC), the Washington-based hub of a multimillion-dollar crisis management bunker to be operational by Oct. 31 and wind up by June 2000.

Koskinen said the command center was meant to keep tabs on critical private-sector activities as well as local, state and federal computer systems; on overseas developments; and on any ''cyber incidents,'' such as attacks.

The bunker is being built in a former Secret Service facility not far from the White House. Among other tasks, it will receive information from the International Y2K Cooperation Center set up by the United Nations and the World Bank.

The command center planning now under way is for the technology-challenging New Year period only. But U.S. officials consider the Y2K Center a test of a national ``cyber defense'' drive set in motion by Clinton in a May 1998 directive.

The White House said Wednesday that it was weighing a long-term plan to tighten U.S. defenses against threats to government and private computer networks. Disclosure of the draft plan, which would give the FBI a lead role, triggered concern that it would threaten privacy and civil liberties.

Clinton formally signed the Y2K Center into existence last month to coordinate, among other things, U.S. agency assessments of Y2K-related emergencies that could harm U.S. interests at home and abroad.

Koskinen said the center ``should serve as a framework for future cooperation between critical infrastructure industries ... and the federal government'' to protect crucial communication networks.

At issue over the New Year are expected disruptions ranging from botched credit card transactions to power outages caused by computers initially programmed to recognize dates only up to 1999.

Koskinen said the President's Council had been encouraging critical industries to establish their own ``national information centers'' to centralize information about glitches.

These industry units would collect status reports from individual companies and share them with the ``appropriate federal emergency operations center,'' which would in turn pass them on to the Y2K Center, Koskinen said.

Besides providing the authorities with status reports, such industry-led national information centers could serve as help desks, putting troubled organizations in touch with others that have the expertise to help, Koskinen said.

Thwarting any blitzes on U.S. information systems will be an important task at year-end, Koskinen said.

``Unauthorized intrusions into information technology systems are an ongoing risk that must be monitored closely during the rollover period,'' he said.

-- justme (justme@justme.net), July 29, 1999


Interesting that Reuters referred to the ICC as a "bunker."

I'd bet they'll get some heat over THAT choice of words.


-- FM (vidprof@aol.com), July 29, 1999.

Just more proof of how bad things are going to get.

-- (its@coming.soon), July 29, 1999.

Link, please?

-- ace (x@y.z), July 29, 1999.

I just wish Koskinen and buddies in bunker could be condemned to face the Y2K problems with only the 3 days provisions they are recommending the citizenry have on hand. What you wanna bet THEY WILL HAVE MORE THAN 3 DAYS PROVISIONS? They BETRAY THE PEOPLE THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO SERVE.

-- Ann Fisher (zyax55B@prodigy.com), July 29, 1999.

Well now, John Ko-Skin-Em has gone from a 3 day prep scenario to: "Koskinen said the focus of his work was shifting to ``event management'' to deal with possible disruptions caused by confused computers"

all in the one breath.


-- Ray (ray@totacc.com), July 29, 1999.

Here is the link:

US Plans y2k Bunker

I'd read this twice!!


-- Ray (ray@totacc.com), July 29, 1999.

This isn't fear mongering, is it? No, it's merely contingency planning for a BITR, you know, that three day storm we all keep hearing about, or is it a two week storm now? Maybe that's what all the concern is about. The old, "two week storm in local locals only" problem, mostly in foreign countries, not ours, we're way ahead of everyone else, naturally.......we're americans, they aren't, they have tremendously fewer systems, but we're much smarter, and faster of course. This goes without saying, it's a known fact worldwide, we're loved and admired by all and we're so humble and helpful, we couldn't possibly allow something this stupid to bother or irritate us, just won't happen, never.

Positive thinking oughta do it, suppose?. (I hope they get stuck in the bunker elevator, hehehe) :)

-- Will continue (farming@home.com), July 29, 1999.

Koskinen as a "GI" imagine that. Thanks for the post...........

-- kevin (innxxs@yahoo.com), July 29, 1999.

Yes... Imagine that. But when I spoke to Koskin'em 2 weeks ago, it was PLAINLY EVIDENT that he (and the others in the Klinton administration) knew EXACTLY what was on the horizon.

BTW, read a FASCINATING new essay (short). CLICK HERE.

It's a REAL eye-openeer.

-- Dennis (djolson@pressenter.com), July 29, 1999.

``It has become increasingly clear that there is a growing desire and need for timely and accurate information about system operations as the world moves into the new millennium,'' Koskinen said in testimony prepared for the special Senate panel on the technology problem.

Would someone please inform the Y2K Czar the new millennium begins 1/1/2001! Can he be this ignorant?

-- Bingo1 (howe9@pop.shentel.net), July 29, 1999.

Ok. Let's play a game. It's called "What if?"

If this command post is built, wouldn't it give our federal friends a head start on their computer monitoring scheme? You know, the one they have presented to "stop Cyber-terrorists"?

Seems to me it's the same old game. Create an "emergency". Declare that only "they" have a solution that must be put into place. If you try to debate the issue, you're an obstructionist. Put the "solution" in to place and declare victory.

When voting, try to make sure your not the problem that these "solutions" solve.

"There need be no fear or foreboding by the American people of the preparations of their government. On the contrary, the greater threat to our civil liberties stems from the chaos and carnage that might result from an attack for which we had failed to prepare and the demands for action that would follow." -William S. Cohen, Secretary of Defense under President Clinton

Watch six and keep your...

-- eyes_open (best@wishes.net), July 29, 1999.

Ray, can you see all these "confused computers" refusing orders to shape up? They may issue orders to shoot them on sight!

-- Mike Lang (webflier@erols.com), July 29, 1999.

Think of the world's nation's as an apartment building. All(or most all)nation's are tied together, both economically, and geopolitically.

If America is living in apartment x, how many apartment's have to set on fire(by y2k failure's), before apartment x is in trouble? The dept. of State's recent report basically admitted that quit a few countries will have breakdown's, at what point do we feel the heat? And, for how long? Do we have enough fire estinguishers?

-- CygnusXI (noburnt@toast.net), July 29, 1999.

Dennis, thanks for the link to Michael Hyatt's essay. It is an eye-opener as you said!

It was interesting to note that one of his links went to Gary North's site. The one about the fed budget rising to $8.03 billion. If I recall correctly, that was discussed in thread here somewhere...

Imagine, saying one thing while doing another. Must be a new concept.;-)

-- J (jart5@bellsouth.net), July 29, 1999.

An article of related interest:


"U.S. backs off private monitoring"

-- Linkmeister (link@librarian.edu), July 29, 1999.

I love it! A Y2K bunker in a "former Secret Service facility near the White House." I hate to spill the beans 'cause they might run further afield, but I hope they do go into that new hidey-hole inside DC and wait out the storm there. Oh please, oh please, Clinton & company stay in that new bunker. And have a big buncha news media types stay with you to "witness history made" as Bubba leads the world throuhg the terrible crisis.

Imagine the fun on the day they pop the hatch and there are tens of thousands of hungry, thirsty, pissed-off, DC survivors surrounding them! Hell, some of the survivors could even be human and not the dog- sized rats now plaguing DC! Of course, Clinton's bunker bunch might get better treatment from tens of thousands of starving rats...


-- Wildweasel (vtmldm@epix.net), July 29, 1999.

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