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Presidential advisory committee backs alternative network in case of internet takedown

“This capability should exist on a network connecting entities’ [network operations centers] that is independent of the Internet. Its design, development, installation, operation, maintenance, and periodic exercises should be a government project executed in coordination with commercial infrastructure stakeholders. Such a capability should also contemplate if and how to incorporate international partners”, NSTAC said in its report to the president on communications resiliency.

The report also recommended that DHS continue to develop and test the National Cyber Incident Response plan and fully implement the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) with greater private sector involvement. The NCCIC is aimed at improving national efforts to respond to threats and incidents affecting critical information technology and communications infrastructure.

NSTAC also recommends that the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulations System and the Defense Information Assurance Certification and Accreditation Process verify the existence of sufficient vendor diversity both when acquiring equipment and when operating and installing a network.

Commenting on the NSTAC report, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano said that "protecting our nation's critical networks and communications infrastructure remains a top priority for the administration. 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."

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