GSA readies security effort

GSA's Sallie McDonald outlined efforts to educate citizens about computer security.

A government and industry effort to educate citizens about computer security will launch soon, but the ambitious plan to reach the nation's 60 million home computer users had to be scaled back because of a lack of money, a General Services Administration official said.

Twelve federal agencies and 30 private partners have worked on the National Cyber Security Alliance for the last five months, said Sallie McDonald, assistant commissioner of the General Services Administration Federal Technology Service. She spoke Jan. 23 at a Federal Sources Inc. conference.

McDonald said the alliance wanted to "blitz the world with brochures," but organizers realized it would cost at least $60 million to distribute 60 million brochures. Still, alliance members are developing a Web site and plan to kick off the education campaign with senior government officials soon.

"We are asking industry and government to provide spokespersons" for the kickoff, she said. Private industry members of the alliance include Cisco Systems Inc., AOL Time Warner Inc., the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Ad Council.

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