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January 22, 1999

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We will meet the emerging security challenges, as we have met such challenges in the past, by remaining confident not only in our ideals, but in our people. We can prevail over terrorism by drawing on the very best of our free society. With strength and clear purpose, we will rise to meet all those who would intimidate us. Let us come together to protect the peace and build the better world we seek.

President Bill Clinton
January 22, 1999

Today, President Clinton delivers an address at the National Academy of Sciences where he will announce major new initiatives to strengthen America's defenses against the emerging threats posed by biological and chemical weapons, and attacks to our critical infrastructure, computer systems, and networks.

Safeguarding Our Citizens From The Threat Of Deadly Weapons. President Clinton has made defending the United States against chemical and biological weapons a top priority. The President has safeguarded Americans from this emerging threat through diplomatic and military means abroad and through increased preparedness at home. The President's fiscal year 2000 budget includes requests for:

  • An additional $40 million in research and development funding for the Department of Health and Human Services, with the bulk of that funding going to research on new vaccines, including smallpox and anthrax, for eventual use in the national medical stockpile;
  • A 23 percent increase in funding for improvements in the public health surveillance system, including, increased lab capacities, strengthened epidemiological capabilities for state and local health departments and more resources for communications and information technology. This funding will also allow the Centers for Disease Control to create a network of regional labs to provide rapid analysis of select biological agents;
  • Additional funding for Metropolitan Medical Response Systems, medical teams who respond to biological and chemical weapons emergencies. This funding will support 25 new response teams.

Cyber-Security For The 21st Century. The President is calling for an investment of $1.46 billion in fiscal year 2000 to defend our critical infrastructure, including, power-generation systems, banking, transportation and emergency services and telecommunications. This investment will help secure computer systems and networks that are potentially vulnerable to computer attack. The President's proposal calls for:

  • Research and Development funding to safeguard key computer systems, with a focus on developing tools that can identify potentially threatening activities within computer networks or computer code installed to disrupt a computer system;
  • Intrusion Detection Systems modeled on one initiated at the Department of Defense that will ensure that when one computer system is attacked, others in the network will be instantly informed of the source of the intrusion, the mode of attack, and the recommended ways to stop it;
  • Information Sharing and Analysis Centers (ISAC's). The Clinton Administration will work with private industry to establish ISAC's to foster the development of uniform practices and standards to protect against computer attack, encourage the sharing of vulnerability analysis, and provide outreach and training programs;
  • Recruiting a Cyber Corps to respond to computer crises. Under the President's plan, government agencies will be encouraged to recruit expert level computer security workers to respond to future computer crises. This program will use existing scholarship and financial assistance programs and examine new scholarship programs to retrain, retain, and recruit computer science students.

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