The $50 million ICC - Net watchdog? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread,4164,2419574,00.html

-- Linkmeister (, January 17, 2000


[Fair Use: For Educational/Research Purposes Only]

Y2K Central: Net Watchdog?

By Max Smetannikov, Inter@ctive Week

January 10, 2000 8:41 AM ET

Just as the world breathed a sigh of relief when the year-2000 bug failed to materialize on Jan. 1, government officials involved in the Y2K monitoring process have launched trial balloons suggesting they want to keep watching the nation's infrastructure permanently.

Fearing a Y2K meltdown, the Clinton administration established the President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion in 1998 and charged it with making the Y2K rollover secure. The Y2K Council's biggest feat was establishing the Information Coordination Council - an organization designed to keep the watch for any unusual Y2K problems.

For New Year's Eve, the ICC set up a Y2K nerve center in Washington, D.C. - an elaborate info bunker that linked the power, fuel, food, medical and telecommunications industries together for the monitoring of any signs of millennium bug trouble. Luckily, all was quiet.

Now officials in charge of the organization and some industry representatives have said the communica- tions infrastructure they developed is so unique that it should not be dismantled.

"What we have created here, encapsulated in the Information Coordination Center . . . is . . . a unique operation . . . between the federal government, state and local governments, and private- sector industries across the U.S.," John Koskinen, Y2K Council chairman, told reporters hours after the Y2K bug failed to cripple Australia and New Zealand on Dec. 31, 1999. "We have private-sector associations and industries headquartered right now in federal agencies, working together hand in glove . . . so we hope that there are productive ways to continue and build upon this infrastructure that now exists."

While Koskinen wouldn't comment further, it is apparent the Y2K Council is looking for ways to establish the ICC as a unique government body. Richard Clarke, national coordinator for computer infrastructure protection at the White House, said: "I'm hopeful we don't waste the asset we've established."

Some Internet in-dustry executives think there could be some value in keeping the group around.

"During the Y2K transition, some ISPs [Internet service pro-viders] were interested to know if there were any power outages. We still would like to know that," said Ira Richar, execu-tive director at the Internet Operators Group, which participated in the ICC monitoring on New Year's Eve.

ISPs that participated in the ICC also found it useful.

"I do think participating in the [info] bridge was worthwhile," said Dave Rand, chief technical officer at AboveNet. "I don't see any downside [to the ICC as a government agency] - so long as they don't start imposing laws on the ISPs. Having a central coordinator is a good thing."

Industry executives were more cautious about how much they want federal involvement in the Net. Having outsiders look at the guts of the Internet could result in the federal government making misguided assumptions about the industry.

While many ISPs felt great communicating openly during the Y2K rollover, the ICC didn't have a chance to test its problem-solving ability. Some participants said that there are no guarantees various carriers would be motivated enough to report problems if any should arise.

"In the Internet area, I spoke with engineers at four different major ISPs who were told by their management not to report negative information, only positive information. Fortunately, it didn't make a difference," network engineer Sean Donelan said.

The government sector didn't fare much better.

"The ICC was supposedly part of a presidential commission, yet you saw the Department of Defense didn't report problems with their satellite ground station until after they had 'good' news to report," Donelan said.

In any case, the ICC won't fold up shop before Feb. 29. That's the next trouble date, when government officials fear a failure to recognize the leap year could wreak havoc among computers. After that, ICC spokesman Brian Kilgallen said, the organization doesn't have any more dates to gear up for.


-- Linkmeister (, January 17, 2000.

Also see this thread from last year:

"U.S. showcases $50 million Y2K Center"

-- Linkmeister (, January 17, 2000.

Also see this article from July of 1999:

"Y2K - ICC Will Not Become FIDNET"

-- Linkmeister (, January 17, 2000.

"...we hope that there are productive ways to continue and build upon this infrastructure that now exists."

Creating a new bureaucracy is easy -- getting rid of it, though...

-- I'm Here, I'm There (I'm Everywhere@so.beware), January 17, 2000.

yep and they have built the human infrastructure too with every industry "trained" on how to work as part of the team and report/not report. all the PR folks from the agencies were also involved inthis effort. pretty clever folks in that white house. maybe john has his new job already.

-- tt (, January 17, 2000.

[Fair Use: For Educational/Research Purposes Only]

Attorneys general eye Internet crime

Reno urges passage of new laws to address cyber-crooks

By Martha Mendoza


STANFORD, Calif., Jan. 10  Attorney General Janet Reno wants authorities to form a global, round-the-clock anti-cybercrime network to stop Internet lawbreakers.

I ENVISION a network that extends from local detectives to the FBI to investigators abroad, Reno said Monday.

Reno rolled out details of the so-called LawNet to several hundred members of the National Association of Attorneys General gathered at Stanford University.

The program would include teams of highly skilled computer crime prosecutors and investigators, regional forensic computer laboratories and technology sharing, Reno said.

She also proposed a new interstate compact to ensure enforcement of out-of-state subpoenas and warrants stemming from Internet investigations.

The Internet is indeed a splendid tool of wonder, but there is a dark side of hacking, crashing networks and viruses that we absolutely must address, she said.


The growth in ecommerce is creating opportunities for cybercrime. An FBI survey of Fortune 500 companies found 62 percent reported computer security breaches during the past year, she said.

The LawNet proposal partially addresses a directive President Clinton issued last year to encourage law enforcement and crucial industries in the country to set up information-sharing networks.

Prosecutors at the conference responded to the LawNet proposal with a standing ovation, saying they need new law enforcement tools.

The unfortunate side effect of the Internets tremendous growth has been that it provides criminals with a new opportunity to reach a mass of potential victims, said Christopher Painter, a federal prosecutor focused on computer crime.

Reno said a significant part of LawNet would be to address questions of jurisdiction, a challenge prosecutors said they face when fighting Internet crime.

There are a lot of questions about which law applies, and even who is going to enforce that law, said California Attorney General Bill Lockyer. Im very enthusiastic about this plan to get us all together.


Reno said LawNet would also need to focus on privacy issues, protecting consumers from invasions like the CD Universe extortion case.

There, a hacker stole credit card numbers from the Internet music retailer and posted them on a Web site after CD Universe refused to pay a $100,000 ransom.

It is perhaps not Big Brother we should be worried about, but big browser, said New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. We need to be fearful that the aggregation of information, if it is misused, is very terrifying.


-- Linkmeister (, January 18, 2000.

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