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Homeland security depends on new technologies, Ridge says (Biometrics)
GovExec Magazine ^ | 04/24/02 | Liza Porteus

Posted on 04/24/2002 11:49:11 PM PDT by

April 24, 2002

By Liza Porteus , National Journal's Technology Daily

White House Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge on Tuesday said the high-tech sector is making instrumental contributions to the Bush administration as it cultivates a national homeland security strategy.

Homeland security efforts will depend on technologies such as biometrics, next-generation detection devices designed to find traces of chemical or biological agents, dashboard electronics to ensure efficient border crossing for trucks and other vehicles, simulation software, and advanced encryption-standard codes, Ridge said during a dinner speech at the Electronic Industries Alliance's annual conference.

Such advances are "more proof that the market doesn't need the government's permission to meet the needs of America," Ridge said. "This entrepreneurial spirit is a potent weapon against terrorism. ... Our homeland security effort must tap into this energy."

The administration is increasing partnerships with the private sector in its anti-terrorism efforts, Ridge said. President Bush's Critical Infrastructure Protection Board is creating "model government-industry partnerships" to harness the intellect of all sectors, he said.

The administration also is working with the National Cybersecurity Alliance to empower businesses and private citizens to fortify themselves against cyber attacks. The alliance is an online education campaign launched in February and includes high-tech associations and companies such as AOL Time Warner, Apple Computer, AT&T, Microsoft, Symantec and WorldCom. Government agencies participating in the alliance include the Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office, the National Infrastructure Protection Center, the Defense Department and the General Services Administration.

Ridge also said federal laws such as the anti-terrorism bill enacted last fall are helping to integrate technology into the legal process to bring it into the 21st century.

He said technology underlies all four of the administration's homeland security efforts-- border security, information sharing and information technology, bioterrorism, and the "first responders" to emergencies. Interoperable communication systems, national surveillance networks on diseases and entry-exit visa systems all depend on innovation from the private sector, he said. The administration has allotted $15 billion for information technology in its proposed fiscal 2003 budget, with $4 billion of that going for IT security.

"We worry about physical security, but we'd better worry about cyber security" as well, Ridge said.

The administration's e-government agenda also will help provide a base for homeland security efforts, Ridge said. The White House Office of Management and Budget is spearheading 24 e-government initiatives, including e-authentication, a one-stop disaster-relief portal and information-sharing technologies. Ridge said the national strategy his office is preparing is due out this summer.

"Yes, it is a new world, but it is a world in which technology is suited to play a very critical role," Ridge said.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Front Page News; Government; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; Technical
KEYWORDS: biometrics; encryption; homelandsecurity; populationcontrol; ridge; technology; terrorist; tracking

1 posted on 04/24/2002 11:49:11 PM PDT by
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To: boston_liberty
2 posted on 04/24/2002 11:51:57 PM PDT by toenail
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To: toenail
I was just going to do that ...
3 posted on 04/25/2002 12:21:00 AM PDT by Askel5
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Why are they going to hassle citizens with retinal scans and the like while the do not take the minimal, non-hitech measures to protect the border which actually might fit the mission of a 'homeland security' department?
4 posted on 04/25/2002 7:25:36 AM PDT by Dialup Llama
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Ridge: Tech Industry Must Innovate
Tue Apr 23,10:05 PM ET

By CHRISTOPHER NEWTON, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - The technology industry must invent and invest in new ways to undermine terrorists targeting the United States, Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge said Tuesday night.

And the country's leading high-tech firms must also make sure they are watching their own backs, Ridge told members of the Electronic Industries Alliance attending a conference at a Washington hotel.

"One security analyst noted that many Silicon Valley firms he audited had great firewalls and no security downstairs," Ridge said. "Anybody can walk in and sit at a computer. Terrorists sitting at one computer can create worldwide havoc. ... All a terrorist needs is a weapon of mass disruption."

The dozens of companies and groups represented by the industry alliance should also work to create new weapons against terrorism such as smarter smart ID cards and more foolproof X-ray scanners for airports, Ridge said.

If the technology industry does not innovate in the area of security, the nation faces being outsmarted by terrorists.

"While terrorists may not share our entrepreneurial approach, they do have access to our technology. ... Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called 20th hijacker, used a laptop to research crop-dusters," Ridge said.

Ramzi Yousef — the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing — "used his micro-technology training to make bombs."

Ridge also talked of a need for better information scanning systems — database technology that could be used to cross-reference records on a person or vehicle in minutes.

"We need this technology on our borders to separate high-risk people and high-risk cargo from no-risk people and no-risk cargo," Ridge said.

David McCurdy, president of the Electronic Industries Alliance, said the industry will be engaged in anti-terrorism security for the foreseeable future.

"This is a marathon, this is not a sprint," McCurdy said. "Some of the early challenges are obvious — both technology and human management in airport security," McCurdy said.

"I think the governor hit a chord when he said he wants the industry to be cognizant of government's long-term goals, but he wants it to generate and create new ideas to respond."

Ridge warned that the nation could never be immune from terrorist attacks without violating personal freedoms.

That reality means that states and local governments must have efficient hi-tech emergency management systems and communications devices.

In an attack, "there is only time to do, there is no time to experiment," he said.

5 posted on 04/25/2002 8:54:14 AM PDT by mistaken1
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Comment #6 Removed by Moderator

To: Dialup Llama
Because this is too good an opportunity to feed government dollars to their handpicked 'security technology corporations' in the name of 'security to begin tracking of US Citizens. Why should they worry about the borders or illegal aliens. Any further attacks will only suffice to speed the implementation of internal passports and citizen tracking technology.
7 posted on 04/25/2002 9:37:45 AM PDT by Black Agnes
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8 posted on 07/06/2002 2:56:03 PM PDT by Askel5
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All the technology in the world is worthless unless the political backbone exists to keep those who would do us harm out of the country, and to find those here illegally and kick them out.
9 posted on 07/06/2002 2:59:23 PM PDT by Mulder
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