Critical Infrastructures: What Makes an Infrastructure Critical? [Updated January 29, 2003] [open pdf - 88KB]
Over the last few years, a number of documents concerned with critical infrastructure protection have offered general definitions for critical infrastructures and have provided short lists of which infrastructures should be included. The Bush Administration's proposal for establishing a Department of Homeland Security includes a function whose responsibilities include the coordination of policies and actions to protect the nation's critical infrastructure. Essentially, the federal government will have to try to minimize the impact on the nation's critical infrastructure of any future terrorist attack, taking into account what those impacts might be and the likelihood of their occurring. At the very least, a growing list of infrastructures in need of protection will require the federal government to prioritize its efforts.
CRS Report for Congress, RL31556