Senate Testimony 7/29/1999 Up Now: Understanding the Role of the Information Coordination Center (ICC) : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Quick post... gotta run.

(Hope you're having fun Chuck!)


Senate Hearing Testimony up...

Y2K Response, Recovery and Cyber-Reconstitution:
Understanding the Role of the Information Coordination Center

July 29, 1999, SD-192, 9:30am - 192 Senate Dirksen Building

Senator Bennett's Opening Statement

Senator Dodd's Opening Statement

Witness List:

Panel One

The Honorable John Koskinen
The Presidents Year 2000 Conversion Council

(Koskinen link Not Found at the moment... but his Testimony IS up at the site...)

Panel Two

Mr. John S. Tritak
The Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office

Mr. Michael Vatis
The National Infrastructure Protection Center

(Not linked yet... but search at keywords: Vatis Testimony Infrastructure Protection Center and youll see other testimony links.)

Mr. Richard Schaeffer
Infrastructure and Information Assurance
Department of Defense

Note: The above links are to submitted (draft) testimony. The official transcript will be available from Government Printing Office.

-- Diane J. Squire (, August 03, 1999


See also...

National Command Center announced by what's his name 001BEM

-- Diane J. Squire (, August 03, 1999.

The statement of John S. Tritak, Director, Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office (CIAO) seems to be mostly self-patting on the back for "tireless" efforts in whatever it is CIAO is up to. CIAO's stated purpose is to "elaborate on ways to maximize lessons learned from the Year 2000 experience. . .in particular, the CIAO's cooperation with the Information Coordination Center (ICC) and the President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion," and to act "as a mechanism to assist in the coordination of the Federal Government's initiatives on critical infrastructure protection. . . [by] integrating the various infrastructure sector plans into a national plan; coordinating departmental analyses on how to mitigate unacceptable risks resulting from the U.S. Government's own dependencies on critical infrastructure; coordinating a national education and awareness program targeted toward increasing public understanding and participation in protection efforts; and coordinating legislative and public affairs to integrate infrastructure assurance objectives into the public and private sectors." [Translation: we go to a LOT of meetings.]

And, I might add, a major purpose seems to be justifying CIAO's continuation into perpetuity after any Y2K problems are over, rendering its acronym one of the most ironic in government. CIAO's director concludes: "The National Plan for Information Systems Protection-Public-Private Cooperation . . . addresses. . . a complex interagency process for approaching critical infrastructure and cyber-related issues. These include, but are not limited to, law enforcement, defense, intelligence, procurement, information technology, and privacy matters. . . The CIAO sees the important work being done by the President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion and the ICC as an opportunity to listen and learn. We also feel strongly that the Year 2000 issue offers an additional opportunity to meet with and explore new ways of working with the private sector. This Nation's cyber security will depend on our efforts to forge an alliance with private sector to implement PDD-63 and Congress' information technology agenda, and we are proud to be a partner in this effort on behalf of all Americans." [Translation: we plan to go to EVEN MORE meetings!]

Sounds to me like another raid on my taxpayer dollars, but don't listen to me--I'm in a particularly unforgiving mood today.

-- Cynical Old Git (, August 03, 1999.

Wait until they form an international technical advisory center to advise on compatible hardware, software and internet configuration standards to impliment the suggested but enforced recommendations as a result of the lessons learned.

120 million a year.

-- Living in (, August 03, 1999.

See also: JW

-- Deborah (, August 03, 1999.

Funny you should say that. . .

Koskinen's statement:

. . . this [Senate Y2K] Committee has made a significant contribution in helping to underscore the serious nature of the Y2K challenge and the need for action in all sectors of our economy.

". . . But the focus of our endeavors has been shifting, as it must, from outreach and promoting action on the problem to event management during the actual rollover to the Year 2000."

[Note: "event" management, not "crsis" management. Nice touch.]

". . . The difficulty for every organization, including the Federal Government, in trying to make decisions and organize appropriate responses is that Y2K-related difficulties, however minor, may be happening more or less simultaneously and in multiple locations. Much like the computer problem itself, gathering information about system operations during the date rollover presents the Federal Government, and the nation, with yet another unprecedented challenge."

Re 15 federal emergency ops centers (FEMA to Department of State): "No one of them, however, is capable of collecting and coordinating information flows about system operations from and across the entire Federal Government; State, local and tribal governments; critical areas of the private sector; and countries around the world."

Explains the Information Coordination Center: ". . . will serve as the Federal Governments central point for coordinating a wide range of information on system operations and events related to the Y2K transition that will be collected by government emergency operations centers and the private sector."

"I am pleased to note that Lieutenant General (Retired) Peter Kind, formerly director of information systems for the Department of the Army, is serving as the Director of the ICC and is presently overseeing its development. General Kind and the ICC report directly to me and the Presidents Council."

"The ICC presently has a core staff of 18, which will increase to a range of 30 to 40. In addition, each Federal agency providing substantial information to the ICC will detail subject matter experts on a full-time basis to receive information from the agency and integrate the data into the overall national and international status reports produced by the ICC. These experts will also be able to highlight developing events of interest back to their agencies. Agencies will also detail to the ICC members of their public information staffs who will participate in a Joint Public Information Center (JPIC), which will operate as part of the ICC. The JPIC will assist in providing information to the public and responding to inquiries as well as helping the agencies to share information with their normal constituencies."

[Rumor Central?]

". . . States, in particular, have asked for regular reports from the ICC on the status of Global Positioning Systems, National Airspace Systems, the National Weather Service, the National Crime Information Center, the U.S. Postal Service, and navigable waterways."

[So we're not the only ones worried about certain government operations.]

"FEMA will provide the ICC reports from State, local, and tribal governments. FEMA will expand its present system, which usually receives information on an exception basis where a request for Federal assistance is made, to include regularly updated State reports on the status of their critical infrastructures such as power, telecommunications and health care. . . .If the States do not currently have hardware or connectivity capacity to support such reporting activity, the ICC will provide those States a reliable and protected network-based service to receive and move the locally submitted information to the designated State facilities."

"The Presidents Council has been encouraging critical industries to establish their own National Information Centers. These industry centers will collect status reports from individual companies and share this information with the appropriate Federal emergency operations center (e.g., electric power will provide information to the Department of Energy). Each Federal agency will then analyze and summarize those reports and forward them to the ICC."

"The electric power, oil and gas, telecommunications, and airline industries have already indicated they will have national information centers in place for the date rollover. Other sectors, such as water and health care, are more diffuse and will have greater difficulty in formulating an adequate emergency reporting and response structure. The ICC is working with Federal agencies and their associated industry organizations to encourage the formation of industry-led national information centers in these areas."

"The Departments of State, Defense, and Transportation will provide the ICC information about system operations outside of the United States collected from U.S. embassies, international organizations, and other posts. Numerous governments have indicated interest in exchanging data from the information centers they are creating and Canada has requested an exchange of liaison officers to enhance coordination and status information. The International Y2K Cooperation Center, established under the auspices of the United Nations and the World Bank, will use an ICC reporting format for international reporting purposes and will provide the ICC additional international information about system operations abroad gathered from National Y2K Coordinators."

"Of special importance is the point this Committee made a year ago that we should pay particular attention to status reports from countries passing into the new year before us. Beginning at 7 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on Friday, December 31, when New Zealand will move into the Year 2000, much of the world will precede the United States into the next millennium. New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom have expressed interest in providing early warning information on regional events as the date change takes effect in their respective time zones."

"The Computer Emergency Response Teams (Domestic) and Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams (International) will provide reports to the ICC on any incidents within their respective areas.. . . This arrangement will ensure that the NIPC will receive complete and timely data from all sources on unauthorized intrusions so that they can conduct their missions of warning and response, in coordination with government and private sector entities. The ICC will have direct connectivity for information sharing throughout the Department of Defense Decision Support Activity (DSA) being formed specifically to monitor for Y2K. . . . The ICC may also help coordinate assistance to agencies and sectors in cyber reconstitution processes necessitated by cyber incidents."

". . .Conclusion - We have entered a new phase in our efforts to ensure that the country makes the smoothest possible transition into the Year 2000, one that is no less important than our efforts to promote action on the problem by businesses and governments in the United States and around the world.

While monitoring and collecting information on system operations across the globe as we will during the date rollover has never been tried before, I am confident that the structure we have put in place with the ICC will engender the maximum level of cooperation required from a range of organizations across the country to make this effort a success."

[They're going to an awful lot of trouble and spending a lot of time and money for a bump in the road or even for a feel-good public relations feat, aren't they?]

-- Still Cynical Old Git (, August 03, 1999.

Old Git (Charmingly cynical today)

This does indeed seem like an awful lot of effort for a non event. Do we detect the "Purloined Letter" technique at work, perhaps?

This particular section fries me a bit "crispy" around the edges:

"Of special importance is the point this Committee made a year ago that we should pay particular attention to status reports from countries passing into the new year before us. Beginning at 7 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on Friday, December 31, when New Zealand will move into the Year 2000, much of the world will precede the United States into the next millennium. New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom have expressed interest in providing early warning information on regional events as the date change takes effect in their respective time zones."

So, we will know to fill our bloody (sorry) bathtubs with water and put our freezer stuff in the cooler.

Or maybe just head down to the shelters to avoid the rush.

Can you see the riots at the stores on New Years Eve? Anyone feel gruesome enough to try to estimate casualties?


-- Jon Williamson (, August 03, 1999.

If it takes $40 million to do the same quality job that they did on making the public aware of the situation/complications, then we are just furnishing more idiots more jobs when the rest of the country will be starving.

Taz....who thinks we should buy lots of rope!! Find lots of strong trees!!

-- Taz (, August 03, 1999.

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