Critical Foundations: Protecting America's Infrastructures: The Report of the President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection   [open pdf - 977KB]

Our national defense, economic prosperity, and quality of life have long depended on the essential services that underpin our society. These critical infrastructures--energy, banking and finance, transportation, vital human services, and telecommunications--must be viewed in a new context in the Information Age. The rapid proliferation and integration of telecommunications and computer systems have connected infrastructures to one another in a complex network of interdependence. This interlinkage has created a new dimension of vulnerability, which, when combined with an emerging constellation of threats, poses unprecedented national risk. For most of our history, broad oceans, peaceable neighbors and our military power provided all the infrastructure protection we needed. But just as the terrible long-range weapons of the Nuclear Age made us think differently about security in the last half of the 20th Century, the electronic technology of the Information Age challenges us to invent new ways of protecting ourselves now. We must learn to negotiate a new geography, where borders are irrelevant and distances meaningless, where an enemy may be able to harm the vital systems we depend on without confronting our military power. National defense is no longer the exclusive preserve of government, and economic security is no longer just about business. The critical infrastructures are central to our national defense and our economic power, and we must lay the foundations for their future security on a new form of cooperation between government and the private sector.

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