Former Hewlett-Packard CEO John Young, who is now co-chair of the President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), told committee members that the Defense Department has commissioned an outside firm to produce a report by July 15 on how to construct a research lab that would be focused on analyzing national computer security threats and methods of protecting the nation's computer networks from cyber terrorism.
DoD's request stems from a February letter to President Clinton for the administration to establish a research organization focused on security and cyberterrorism. The research lab, to be called the Laboratory for National Information Infrastructure Protection, is separate from the National Security Council's Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office which is working with private industry to create cyberterrorism centers for government and private companies to exchange information.
PCAST also invited several speakers to discuss the impact of technology on the economy. Robert Lawrence, a professor at Harvard and recent appointee to the White House's Council of Economic Advisors said it is too soon to tell if the economy has become more productive permanently because of the information technology revolution, or whether it is a one-time phenomena.
Lawrence, MIT Professor Scott Stern and Robert Atkinson, director of the Progressive Policy Institute's technology division, all warned PCAST that basic federal research and development must remain well funded or the U.S. will lose its competitive economic edge.