Threats of Mass Disruption

    Date12 Apr 2001
    CategoryGovernment
    2794
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    After three years of studying the United States' security needs in the coming quarter century, the Commission on National Security/21st Century reached some alarming conclusions--particularly in regard to the Internet-borne weapons and attacks of mass disruption. The 14-member bipartisan commission, chartered . . . After three years of studying the United States' security needs in the coming quarter century, the Commission on National Security/21st Century reached some alarming conclusions--particularly in regard to the Internet-borne weapons and attacks of mass disruption. The 14-member bipartisan commission, chartered by former President Clinton and myself, unanimously agreed that the United States faces new and serious cyber-space-based threats. Our adversaries are becoming more sophisticated in developing new methods for disrupting our normal progression--socially and economically. From breaking down communications systems to initiating electrical blackouts to infiltrating and disrupting our financial systems, there are a number of major disruptions that could unravel our economy, diminish our quality of life and generally destabilize the nation.

    In some cases, such as an attack on the national air traffic control systems, these disruptions could result in widespread damage to property and infrastructure, and serious loss of life. Imagine the chaos if a terrorist group hijacked the communications channels between O'Hare International Airport and the planes flying in the busy Midwest corridor. Airline safety could be seriously compromised if air traffic computers were hijacked by by cyberterrorists.

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