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Critical Infrastructure Protection Month

by: Jamie Barnett

December 22, 2010

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On December 3 of this year, the President issued a Proclamation that December is Critical Infrastructure Protection Month. In the Proclamation, President Obama said, "[M]y Administration is committed to delivering the necessary information, tools, and resources to areas where critical infrastructure exists in order to maintain and enhance its security and resilience." This effort is a central focus for the Commission's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau. The Bureau's mission is to ensure public safety and homeland security by advancing state-of-the-art communications that are accessible, reliable, resilient, and secure, in coordination with public and private partners. As part of the nation's national security protection programs, the Bureau is a key contributor in protecting communications facilities that are a critical component of the nation's infrastructure.

There are several critical infrastructure sectors and each sector has an Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAC). As part of our responsibilities in critical infrastructure protection, we support the Communications ISAC by providing subject matter expert liaison staff. The mission of the Communications ISAC is to facilitate voluntary collaboration and information sharing among government and industry in support of Executive Order 12472 and the national critical infrastructure protection goals of Presidential Decision Directive 63. The intent is to gather information on vulnerabilities, threats, intrusions, and anomalies from multiple sources in order to perform analysis with the goal of averting or mitigating impact upon the telecommunications infrastructure.

In addition to terrestrial communications with which we are most familiar, the space-based Global Positioning System (GPS) is inextricably integrated into most of the critical infrastructure sectors. Although it has not yet officially been designated as a critical infrastructure sector, we are helping, in association with DHS, DOT and other agencies, to protect the GPS positioning, navigation, and timing receivers from interference and jamming.

Although we are involved in many other areas related to public safety and homeland security, the Bureau has a vested interest in collaborating with state, local and Federal partners to do whatever we can to protect the critical infrastructure related to communications. The work of the Commission and more specifically the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau is an integral part of protecting our nation, and as the President also said in his Proclamation, "Working together, we can raise awareness of the important role our critical infrastructure plays in sustaining the American way of life and developing actions to protect these vital resources." We are committed to doing so.

See the proclamation

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