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For Immediate Release
January 30, 1997

Contact: Nelson McCouch
(703) 696-9395

Commission Studying National Infrastructure Protection
President Designates Industry Leader to Head Effort

WASHINGTON - Aerospace executive Robert T. "Tom" Marsh announced the launch of the public outreach phase of the President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection. Marsh was recently designated by President Clinton as chairman of the Commission. Its task is to make recommendations to the President on the protection and continued operation of the nation's critical infrastructures.* The Commission will hold a series of public hearings this year to give interested individuals and organizations the opportunity to exchange ideas with Commissioners.

"There is a widespread recognition that the nature and scope of the threat to America's critical infrastructures has changed as a result of advances in technology, particularly information technology and telecommunications," Marsh said. "The anecdotal evidence is sufficient to warrant a serious collaborative effort to address this problem."

Marsh went on to say that our country's infrastructures, such as telecommunications, electric power, and banking and finance, are the critical life support systems of our nation. "With industry, government and the public working together toward solutions, the infrastructures we enjoy today will have a secure future," he added.

Marsh noted that there was no cause for alarm, and the creation of the Commission may be one of the few times when government is calling for action before a crisis occurs, rather than after-the-fact.

Based on the Executive Order, the Commission is reviewing eight infrastructures critical to the security of the United States for economic or national defense reasons: telecommunications, transportation, electric power, oil and gas delivery and storage, banking and finance, water supply systems, emergency services (medical, police, fire and rescue), and continuity of government services.

Marsh, former chairman of the board of Thiokol Corporation and a retired Air Force general, has broad experience in the aerospace industry. He is the chairman of the board of CAE Electronics, Inc. and Comverse Government Systems Corp. He is a director of Teknowledge Corp. and a trustee of the MITRE Corp. He is also the director of the Air Force Aid Society.

The Commission has a web site at <http://www.pccip.gov/> and encourages all interested parties to visit the site to learn more about the Commission and share their views.

The Commission was established by Executive Order 13010.

*Critical infrastructures are systems so vital that their incapacity or destruction would have a debilitating impact upon the defense or economic security of the United States.

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