Information Warfare: February 7, 2001

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One of Bill Clinton's last acts as president was to appoint yet another advisory organization on security; the National Infrastructure Assurance Council (NIAC). This brings to mind the old joke about how a politician deals with a problem he doesn't want to deal with, appoint a "Blue Ribbon Panel" (composed of blue blood worthies) to study the problem to death, or at least put it into a black hole where the media will lose interest. The Blue Ribbon Panel is now competing with outfits like the NIAC, which say much, mean little and are generally ignored. The growing media attention to internet and communications security has brought forth dozens of panels, committees and studies. People in the industries being studied and advised generally consider all these efforts useless or, sometimes, counterproductive. None of the advisory groups speak with the same voice, or enough authority to counter the others. Thus you get a muddled murmur that no one can understand and no one pays attention to. Now you know.

 


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