Catastrophic cyberattacks are a very real threat to U.S. security, according to a study from the Bipartisan Policy Center's National Security Preparedness Group (NSPG).
The study underscores worries from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the intelligence community about terrorists striking against U.S. assets without ever penetrating national borders, with the threat against critical infrastructure systems being especially potent. "As the current crisis in Japan demonstrates, disruption of power grids and basic infrastructure can have devastating effects on society," the report says.
The NSPG report acknowledges that the U.S. government has made significant strides in meeting many of the 9/11 Commission's recommendations, but notes that progress has been slow in several key areas. For example, the availability of radio spectrum for public safety purposes still needs to be substantially broadened, while a recommendation to establish a Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board with the federal government's executive branch is still not completely implemented. "If we were issuing grades, the implementation of this recommendation would receive a failing mark," the report concludes.
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