Bunker Mentality

Bunker Mentality

The government is setting up a command center to cope with any year 2000 emergencies. John Koskinen, head of the President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion, said federal authorities were urging critical U.S. industries to join in by funneling updates on their systems to the government proposed center. Koskinen said the focus of his work was shifting to "event management" to deal with possible disruptions caused by confused computers. "It has become increasingly clear that there is a growing desire and need for timely and accurate information about system operations as the world moves into the new millennium," Until now, the U.S. has focused on fixes and contingency planning. This is the first time that such extreme measures have been undertaken. At the heart of the new phase is the Y2K Information Coordination Center (ICC), the Washington-based hub of a multimillion-dollar crisis management bunker to be operational by October 1999 and wind up by June 2000. New York City Mayor, Rudolph Giuliani has also constructed such a facility. The command center is meant to keep tabs on critical privatesector activities as well as local, state and federal computer systems; on overseas developments; and on any "cyber incidents," such as attacks. The bunker is being built in a former Secret Service facility not far from the White House. Among other tasks, it will receive information from the International Y2K Cooperation Center set up by the United Nations and the World Bank. The command center planning, now under way, is for the Y2K problem only. But U.S. officials consider the Y2K Center a test of a national "cyber defense", a buzzword coined by President Clinton in a May 1998 directive. The White House said that it was weighing a long-term plan to tighten U.S. defenses against threats to government and private computer networks. Disclosure of the plan, which would give the FBI a lead role, has triggered concern that it would threaten privacy and civil liberties. Clinton signed the Y2K Center into existence last month to coordinate U.S. agency assessments of Y2Krelated emergencies that could harm U.S. interests at home and abroad. Koskinen said the center "should serve as a framework for future cooperation between critical infrastructure industries and the federal government". These units would share with the "appropriate federal emergency operations”. I am from the government. I am here to help you.

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