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Standards to Play Key Role in Protecting U.S. Says Homeland Security Official


New York, Nov 04, 2002

Addressing the Government Electronics and Information Technology Association's 2002 Vision Conference, held on October 31, 2002, keynote speaker Steven Cooper, Special Assistant to the President, Senior Director for Information Integration and Chief Information Officer for the Office of Homeland Security, discussed the key role that standards will play in protecting the homeland.

Speaking about the National Strategy for Homeland Security and the major initiatives identified in the document, Cooper emphasized, "We've got to use standards!" The initiatives to which he referred, as stated in the National Strategy document, are to "enhance the analytic capabilities of the FBI; build new capabilities through the Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection Division of the proposed Department of Homeland Security; implement the Homeland Security Advisory System; utilize dual-use analysis to prevent attacks; and employ 'red team'1 techniques."

Cooper continued that in the area of assisting first responders, another challenge that would be addressed by the proposed Department of Homeland Security (DHS), all projects initiated by states would be required to comply with national standards. He is also interested in making sure that any projects seeking federal funding will be both cross-level and cross-agency in nature. Cooper asked for assistance from the private sector in identifying repeatable successful initiatives at the state and local level that could serve as models around the country, as well as in assembling a database of national subject matter experts in a range of homeland security-related topics and disciplines.

In identifying the highest priority areas of technology, Mr. Cooper again repeated the need to follow standards, especially those where the federal government has already provided some leadership. He described three areas of focus for technology projects that his office, and the proposed Department of Homeland Security, would be interested in funding: Wireless Communications, Geo-spatial Information and Public Health Information and Communication.

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GEIA represents the "high-tech" industry doing business with government. Its members are companies that provide the government with electronics and information technology (IT) solutions. GEIA forms the government market sector of the Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA), an ANSI member and accredited standards developer, which represents an array of high technology trade associations serving the needs of member companies in the telecommunications, consumer electronics and component parts industries.

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