Letters Partisan PoliticsYou take a snipe at partisan politics when you bemoan the fact that lawmakers will be "preoccupied with the fight over tobacco legislation and, yes, partisan politics as us

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From the Editor's Desk Trish Williams

Clinton's Cyber - Security Campaign

The Clinton administration issued its marching orders for the creation of the nation's infrastructure protection plan last month when most of Washington was not looking.

President Clinton offered highlights of his May 22 presidential decision directive that details the cyber-security plan at his commencement address at the U.S. Naval Academy around Memorial Day weekend.

That directive provides plenty of assignments for bureaucrats of all stripes and an ambitious agenda that includes an initial operating capability by the year 2000.

Under the plan, all federal departments and agencies are responsible for protecting their own critical infrastructures, and each is called upon to appoint a chief infrastructure assurance officer responsible for protecting aspects of the department's critical infrastructure. The directive duly notes that this may be an additional duty assigned to the chief information officer. In other words, some CIOs will wear more than one hat.

Industry will don some hats, too: Officials from designated lead agencies for each major sector of the economy are to work with private sector counterparts, or so-called sector coordinators. These individuals and the departments and corporations they represent will contribute to a national infrastructure assurance plan.

A comprehensive schedule for implementing such things as vulnerability analyses, a national warning center, education and awareness programs and research and development projects is due on Clinton's desk late this year.

However, budgetary and legislative issues remain, and that's where things get tricky. Members of Congress must pass the laws needed to implement the recommendations - and with talk about possible changes in antitrust law, the War Powers Act and Defense Production Act, that's going to be a dicey business.

Partisan Politics

You take a snipe at partisan politics when you bemoan the fact that lawmakers will be "preoccupied with the fight over tobacco legislation and, yes, partisan politics as usual" in the April 23 issue of Washington Technology.

I couldn't agree more. However, you immediately say, "Does the name Kenneth Starr mean anything to anybody?" I guess you are citing the independent prosecutor as the epitome of partisan politics?

I think your own partisan stripes are standing out stark and wild. A little more objectivity from such a fine publication and editor is in order.

David Beers

President, FedCenter

Copyright 1998 Post-Newsweek Business Information, Inc. All rights reserved


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