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Readout of Secretary Napolitano's Remarks to the President's National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee

Press Release

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today visited the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to address the President's National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC)--highlighting the ongoing efforts of the Obama administration, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the NSTAC to safeguard the nation's cybersecurity and critical infrastructure.

"Protecting our nation's critical networks and communications infrastructure remains a top priority for the administration," said Secretary Napolitano. "Over the past year, we have worked together to strengthen the security and resilience of our nation's communications infrastructure, which is essential to national security and emergency preparedness."

Since its inception, the NSTAC has addressed a wide range of policy and technical issues regarding communications, information systems, information assurance, critical infrastructure protection, and other National Security/Emergency Preparedness (NS/EP) communications concerns.

During her remarks, Secretary Napolitano applauded the vital work and recommendations provided by the NSTAC--underscoring the NSTAC's unique perspective on and contributions to national security and emergency preparedness communications through projects such as the NSTAC Report to the President on Communications Resilience published on April 19, 2011.

She also highlighted DHS' continued efforts to identify and test new emergency communications capabilities to help establish a nationwide public safety broadband network through initiatives such as the Border Interoperability Demonstration Project, which is designed to help state and local partners explore innovative and effective interoperable systems and approaches to improve emergency communications along and across America's borders. DHS is also working with federal partners to support public-private partnerships such as the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System, which will have the ability to receive and verify emergency alerts, then send them over almost any digital media to designated locations.

In addition, Secretary Napolitano discussed the Department's role as the federal government lead for securing federal civilian executive branch computer systems, and working with industry as well as state, local, tribal and territorial partners to protect the nation's critical infrastructure and information systems. Over the past two years, DHS has taken important steps toward strengthening America's cybersecurity--entering into a landmark Memorandum of Agreement with the Department of Defense to coordinate and protect military and civilian networks from cyber threats and leverage our shared resources to respond to attacks; and establishing the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center, a coordinated watch and warning center, which serves as the nation's principal hub for organizing cyber response efforts and maintaining the national cyber and communications common operational picture.

DHS is also committed to increasing public awareness about cybersecurity and empowering individuals and enterprises across cyber networks to enhance their own security. The Department's Stop. Think. Connect. public cybersecurity awareness campaign is designed to increase public understanding of cyber threats and promote simple steps the public can take to increase their safety and security online.

For more information, visit www.dhs.gov.


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