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Joint Homeland Security Subcommittee Hearing: Implications of Power Blackouts on America’s Cyber Networks and Critical Infrastructure, Part II

BACKGROUND: This hearing will describe to Members the process used by the Department of Homeland Security for coordinating the response to a potentially catastrophic failure in our critical infrastructure with other agencies -- in this case the Department of Energy -- and state and local officials. Witnesses will discuss how emergency preparedness and response efforts are organized and responsibilities shared. On September 4, 2003, Part I of this hearing exemplified the interdependencies between different sectors of our country and economy.

Understanding these details is important for an after-action review of the federal government’s response to the recent power outages, especially as our public-private partnership continues to evolve. It is crucial that federal, state, and local governments continue to work together to increase coordination and improve information sharing, especially because each sector is becoming more, not less, dependant upon the other for sustained operations of their respective missions, whether it be for electricity or financial transactions or continuity of government.

The power outages proved that one event could affect numerous states and regions in an instant. The coordination between federal and state agencies and between those agencies and the private sector in emergency situations is vital to preserving homeland security. Reviewing and ensuring such coordination, therefore, is a fundamental homeland security objective.


Homeland Security: Wednesday, 17. September 2003

Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Science, and Research & Development and Subcommittee on Infrastructure and Border Security

The Honorable Robert Liscouski - September 17, 2003: Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure Protection Acting Director, National Cyber Security Division Department of Homeland Security

Ms. Denise Swink - September 17, 2003: Acting Director of the Office of Energy Assurance, Department of Energy

Colonel Michael McDaniel - September 17, 2003: Assistant Adjutant General for Homeland Security, State of Michigan

Mr. Robert Dacey, Director of Information Security Issues, General Accounting Office

Joint Homeland Security Subcommittee Hearing: Implications of Power Blackouts on America’s Cyber Networks and Critical Infrastructure, Part I, September 4, 2003


Statement for the Record of Executive Assistant Director Larry A. Mefford Federal Bureau of Investigation

Mr. Paul H. Gilbert, former chair, National Council Panel on Energy Facilities, Cities, and Fixed Infrastructure

Dr. Peter Orzag, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institute

Mr. John McCarthy, Executive Director, Critical Infrastructure Protection Project, George Mason University

Mr. Karl Rauscher, Founder and President, Wireless Emergency Response Team

Mr. Kenneth Watson, President, Partnership for Critical Infrastructure Security


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