[Federal Register Volume 63, Number 150 (Wednesday, August 5, 1998)]
[Pages 41804-41806]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 98-20865]



National Telecommunications and Information Administration
[Docket No. 980716177-8177-01]

Presidential Decision Directive 63 on Critical Infrastructure 
Protection: Sector Coordinators

AGENCY: National Telecommunications and Information Administration, 

ACTION: Notice and request for expressions of interest.


SUMMARY: America's national and economic security are increasingly 
reliant on certain critical infrastructures and upon cyber-based 
information systems. Accordingly, in Presidential Decision Directive 
63, the President directed the establishment of a program addressing 
the Nation's need for protection of its critical infrastructures. 
Critical infrastructures are those physical and cyber-based systems 
essential to the minimum operations of the economy and government. They 
include, but are not limited to, telecommunications, energy, banking 
and finance, transportation, water systems and emergency services, both 
governmental and private. The President has assigned to the Department 
of Commerce the lead agency responsibility for the information and 
communications (I&C) infrastructure. The Secretary of Commerce has 
designated the National Telecommunications and Information 
Administration (NTIA) to carry out those responsibilities.
    Presidential Decision Directive 63 calls for representatives of the 
private sector, called Sector Coordinators (SCs), to represent the 
interests of critical infrastructure owners and operators in the 
development of infrastructure assurance plans. NTIA is seeking 
suggestions from the I&C private sector on the best way to fulfill the 
role of SCs in representing the I&C private sector on the Critical 
Infrastructure Assurance Program with the U.S. Government Sector 
Liaison Official (SLO), Larry Irving, Assistant Secretary of Commerce 
and NTIA Administrator. In addition, NTIA is seeking expressions of 
interest from private sector I&C entities capable of fulfilling the 
role of SC. In addition, comments are invited on the I&C infrastructure 
definitions provided in this notice.

DATES: Expressions of interest must be received by September 4, 1998.

ADDRESSES: Expressions of interest may be mailed to Irwin M. Pikus, 
Infrastructure Assurance Program, National Telecommunications and 
Information Administration (NTIA), Room 4898, U.S. Department of 
Commerce, 1401 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20230, or 
submitted in electronic form to [email protected]. Electronic 
submissions should be in ASCII, WordPerfect (please specify version) or 
Microsoft Word (please specify version) format, and should be included 
as attachments to the electronic message. If you do not receive an 
acknowledgement of receipt, please contact [email protected], or 
call 202/482-2333. Please note: Comments filed electronically at the 
above address and any other official address will be posted on the NTIA 
website at www.ntia.doc.gov/ntiahome/infrastructure/index.html. Paper 
submissions should include three paper copies and a version on diskette 
in a format specified above.




    Every sector of the U.S. economy--including manufacturing, 
transportation, energy and utilities, retail and wholesale trade, 
education, healthcare, finance and government--employs information 
technology and services in its operations. The U.S. communications and 
information infrastructure is comprised of: The physical facilities 
used to transmit, store, process, and display voice, data and images, 
as well as the information itself; applications and software to allow 
users to access the information; and the network standards and 
transmission codes that facilitate interconnection and interoperation 
among networks, ensuring privacy and security of the information, and 
network security and reliability.
    Following the recommendations of a commission created under 
Executive Order 13010, the President directed the establishment of an 
interagency program addressing the Nation's need for protection of its 
critical infrastructures. The protection of critical infrastructures in 
the national interest requires a closely coordinated effort of both 
public and private sectors since most of the information and 
communications (I&C) infrastructure is owned and operated by private 
sector entities. Because the Secretary of Commerce designated the 
National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to 
carry out the critical infrastructure protection responsibilities for 
the I&C sector, Larry Irving, Assistant Secretary for Communications 
and Information and Administrator of NTIA, will serve as the Sector 
Liaison Official (SLO) under Presidential Decision Directive (PDD-63) 
to work with the I&C sector.
    In the spirit of public-private partnership, NTIA is seeking to 
identify sector coordinators (SCs) to work closely with NTIA in 
accomplishing the objectives of the President's program. Together, the 
SLO and the SCs, along with the departments and corporations they 
represent, will contribute to a sectoral National Infrastructure 
Assurance Plan by: Assessing the vulnerabilities of the sector to cyber 
or physical attacks; recommending a plan to eliminate significant 
vulnerabilities; proposing a system for identifying and preventing 
attempted major attacks; and developing a plan for alerting, 
containing, and rebuffing an attack in progress and then, in 
coordination with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as 
appropriate, rapidly reconstituting minimum essential capabilities in 
the aftermath of an attack. In addition to producing the

[[Page 41805]]

sectoral plan, NTIA foresees this partnership for critical 
infrastructure protection as an on-going, long-term dialogue, and an 
education and awareness program among the Federal, state and local, and 
private entities of the I&C sector.
    The characteristics of the I&C sector create the likelihood that no 
single existing private sector individual or organization can serve 
adequately within its current mission as the I&C sector coordinator. 
NTIA will conduct discussions with a broad cross section of the I&C 
sector for the purpose of facilitating the identification of possibly 
more than one SC. Interested parties are invited to provide necessary 
information to NTIA.
    NTIA is seeking suggestions on identifying SCs and expressions of 
interest from private sector telecommunications and information 
entities capable of fulfilling the role of SC in sharing responsibility 
for the Critical Infrastructure Assurance Program with the SLO, 
Assistant Secretary Larry Irving, Administrator of NTIA. The intention 
of the President's program is that the SLO and the SCs will cooperate 
in recommending the sector's infrastructure assurance plan, which will 
become a major element in the national plan, as well as in developing 
and implementing a vulnerability and awareness program for the sector.

Infrastructure Definitions


    An infrastructure is the framework of organizations, personnel, and 
systems for identifiable industries, institutions, and distribution 
capabilities that provide a flow of goods and services essential to the 
economic well-being and national security of the United States, to the 
smooth functioning of governments at all levels, and to society as a 

Information Infrastructure

    For the purpose of soliciting suggestions on identifying SCs and 
expressions of interest from private sector telecommunications and 
information entities capable of fulfilling the role of SC, we define 
the information infrastructure as comprising procedures, personnel, 
organizations, and installed information technology (including 
hardware, software, and firmware) that acquires, stores, manipulates, 
disseminates, and presents information to the user, including 
information services, such as computer services, data processing and 
network services, electronic commerce services, and electronic 
information services. The information industry, for example, supplies 
multimedia information services in audio, video, and text formats via 
computer, fax, television, and other means. The Internet is providing 
new modalities for information services.

Telecommunications Infrastructure

    For the purpose of soliciting suggestions on identifying SCs and 
expressions of interest from private sector telecommunications and 
information entities capable of fulfilling the role of SC, we define 
telecommunications as comprising any transmission, emission, or 
reception of signs, signals, writing, images, and sounds or 
intelligence of any nature by wire, radio, optical or other 
electromagnetic systems. The telecommunications infrastructure includes 
the organizations, personnel, procedures, facilities, and networks 
employed to transmit information by wire, radio, or fiber optics, that 
provide the means for supplying services, such as telephony or mass 
media (e.g., traditional radio or television broadcasting as well as 
cable and satellite broadcasting). Examples of advanced 
telecommunications systems include direct broadcast satellite (DBS), 
digital audio broadcasting (DAB), Advanced Digital Television, and 
Global Positioning System (GPS), used extensively for precise 
navigation and timing.

Role of Sector Coordinators

    The SCs will have major involvement with NTIA, the SLO for the I&C 
sector. The SCs will also be involved with the National Coordinator and 
the National Infrastructure Assurance Council, and, to a lesser degree, 
other program organizations and U.S. Government agencies.
    NTIA and Department of Commerce goals include the fullest, 
appropriate, legal sharing of information and views on all matters 
related to I&C infrastructure protection, both from government to the 
private sector and from the private sector to government, in a manner 
that appropriately protects the safety, privacy, and other legitimate 
concerns of all parties. This must include adequate opportunities for 
sharing a broad range of information, including minority and dissenting 
opinions, so that all pertinent information and ideas can be understood 
and addressed by those who may be affected.
    In support of this openness, we expect and are asking entities 
expressing interest in serving as potential SCs to verify their 
understanding of the following:

--The SCs as a group will not serve in any capacity that would trigger 
the requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act;
--NTIA primarily seeks information;
--If NTIA or the Department requires advice, they expect to seek advice 
from individuals, especially those who have expressed interest in 
serving as potential SCs, and not from committees or groups;
--Potential SCs must agree not to offer group or consensus advice to 
U.S. Government officials; and
--The SCs will represent the views and interests of the private sector 
in addressing the protection of the infrastructure.

    Specific responsibilities of SCs may include the following:
    1. Enter into a memorandum of understanding between the private 
sector participants and the U.S. Government, mutually agreed to and 
delineating the private sector and government roles and 
    2. Collaborate with the SLO, providing information and individual 
    3. Participate in the development of the National I&C Critical 
Infrastructure Protection Plan.

3.1  Establish a network of private sector stakeholders in the plan.
3.2  Meet with U.S. Government officials and private sector 
3.3  Identify points of contact from private sector organizations.
3.4  Review interim outputs of the NTIA Planning Support Team.
3.5  Jointly (with NTIA) submit the schedule to the National 

    4. Assist in the establishment of the National Infrastructure 
Assurance Council (NIAC).

4.1  Identify potential panel members for NTIA's consideration.
4.2  Review NIAC recommendations.

    5. Assist in the creation of the Information Sharing and Analysis 
Center (ISAC).

5.1  Gather ISAC information from private sector stakeholders.
5.2  Provide sector input into the design of the ISAC.

6. Assist in the conduct of special studies.

6.1  Identify private sector participants.
6.2  Review study results.

7. Assist in public outreach.

7.1  Identify best methods for outreach.
7.2  Organize private sector education efforts.

[[Page 41806]]

7.3  Organize selected awareness events.

8. Assist private sector to achieve infrastructure security.
8.1  Assemble private sector input.
8.2  Review proposed activities.

Identification Criteria

    NTIA seeks SCs with the following characteristics. Each respondent 
should indicate the degree to which they or any entity or approach they 
are recommending are:
    (a) Acceptable to a broad spectrum of the constituency of the 
    (b) Knowledgeable about the structure and operation of the sector;
    (c) Familiar with the sector's interactions with the U.S. 
Government and with government programs similar to the current effort;
    (d) Able to articulate the issues regarding critical infrastructure 
protection to their constituencies with sufficient clarity and 
credibility to motivate positive responses to requests for information 
and for supporting actions;
    (e) Able to develop broad support across the sector regarding 
infrastructure assurance matters;
    (f) Sufficiently senior to interact effectively with senior U.S. 
Government officials; and
    (g) Able to devote a substantial amount of time to this effort, 
particularly through the PDD-63 two-year time line for initial 
Shirl Kinney,
Deputy Assistant Secretary and Administrator, National 
Telecommunications and Information Administration.
[FR Doc. 98-20865 Filed 8-4-98; 8:45 am]