Cyber-Security Plans Go Begging on Hill : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

Cyber-Security Plans Go Begging on Hill

By Vernon Loeb

Washington Post Staff Writer

Monday, October 16, 2000; Page A25

The Clinton administration is hoping last-minute lobbying heroics can save its ambitious $138.4 million cyber-security program before Congress adjourns soon, having watched committee after committee in both chambers fail to fund a dozen key initiatives.

President Clinton unveiled the program with fanfare in January, proposing the creation of a national scholarship program to build a "cyber corps" of computer security experts to defend federal government computer networks against hackers and full-fledged cyber-attacks "so that America can be more secure."

But with possibly as few as three legislative days remaining before Congress adjourns for the November election, Senate committees have approved just $40 million of the administration's request, and House panels only $15.5 million.

The cyber corps scholarship program is far from full funding in a House-Senate conference committee. A $50 million institute designed to work closely with the private sector on computer security research has received no funding in either house; and a $15.4 million intrusion detection and response network has received $10 million in the Senate but nothing in the House.

Senate and House committees also declined to provide funding for a $5 million interagency expert review team to respond to cyber-attacks, a $2.8 million request for telecommunications research and a $2 million request for research into protecting health information on government computer networks.

"None of this is partisan," said Richard A. Clarke, the administration's czar for counterterrorism and cyber-security at the National Security Council. "But because funding for the program is broken up into so many different committees, no one feels they are destroying our attempt to create cyber-security."

Rep. Stephen Horn (R-Calif.) late last month released a report card on cyber-security at 24 agencies and gave the administration "an appalling average grade of D-minus." Horn said, "Every American should be concerned about this report, because government computers contain vital personal and national security information."

Horn's assessment was based in part on a study by the General Accounting Office that described widespread computer vulnerabilities and urged Congress to maintain the momentum toward improved cyber-security established by the government's successful response to fixing large-scale Y2K software problems last year.

The GAO quoted the National Security Agency as warning that "potential adversaries are developing a body of knowledge about U.S. systems and how to attack them."

Clark did not disagree with Horn's report card or the GAO review.

"They're right--we admit they're right," said Clarke. "We'd just like to fix it. Everything we've asked for in the budget in order to fix that is being denied: the people, the technology, all of it is being underfunded."

Under the cyber corps proposal, students would receive $50,000 in scholarships if they completed newly developed programs in computer security at any one of 15 universities and agreed to work in cyber-security for the federal government for two years.

While the Senate fully funded the administration's request for $11.2 million to pay for scholarships, the House provided no scholarship money. And neither chamber approved any of the $7 million requested to run the program, leaving questions about what would happen to the cyber corps even if Congress funds the scholarships.

"The big problem right now is, number one, people," Clarke said. "We're going to continue to get failing grades [if we can't recruit] cyber-security people and get them to work for the federal government. . . . Private companies are scarfing up the few people that exist."

) 2000 The Washington Post Company

-- (news@of.note), October 16, 2000

Answers ecurity/000911.htm

-- (also@see.this), October 16, 2000.

Amazing. The equivalent of pennies are requested from the budget for our national security, and it's refused. I do believe it's not a partisan problem, but simply from computer and technological ignorance on the part of those holding the purse strings.

To this day, it amazes me how many business people I deal with are befuddled with the simplest task of sending and recieving emails.

-- (, October 16, 2000.

Smarty, it amazes me how our own I.T. limits their stupidity. Oh "no" That is a "software", whatever fare. They throw their hands up in disgust, that someone else hasn't solved it. Bunch of Prima Donnas. Betcha they would not settle for such an answer from their car dealership, on their BMW. Prima Donnas, don't let them get away with it. Would you let your Dealership fight this internal fight? Hell no!, you want your car running. Right? Call them to task, everyone.

-- Positioning: (who will, October 16, 2000.

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