[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 199 (Tuesday, October 14, 2008)]
[Pages 60724-60726]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-24257]



Request for Input (RFI)--National Cyber Leap Year

AGENCY: The National Coordination Office (NCO) for Networking 
Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD).

ACTION: Request for Input (RFI).


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT: Tomas Vagoun at [email protected] or 
(703) 292-4873. Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the 
deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-
800-877-8339 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern time, Monday through 

DATES: To be considered, submissions must be received by December 15, 
SUMMARY: This request is being issued to initiate the National Cyber 
Leap Year under the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative 
(CNCI). The goal of the National Cyber Leap Year is to identify the 
most promising game-changing ideas with the potential to reduce 
vulnerabilities to cyber exploitations by altering the cybersecurity 
landscape. This RFI is the first step in constructing a national 
research and development agenda in support of the CNCI. 
Multidisciplinary contributions from organizations with cybersecurity 
interests are especially encouraged.

    Overview: This Request for Information (RFI) is issued under the 
Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative (CNCI), established 
within Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD)-23. The RFI was 
developed by the Networking and Information Technology Research and 
Development (NITRD) Program Senior Steering Group (SSG) for 
Cybersecurity to invite participation in a National Cyber Leap Year 
whose goal is an integrated national approach to make cyberspace safe 
for the American way of life.
    Background: We are a cyber nation. The U.S. information 
infrastructure--including telecommunications and computer networks and 
systems and the data that reside on them--is critical to virtually 
every aspect of modern life. This information infrastructure is

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increasingly vulnerable to exploitation, disruption and destruction by 
a growing array of adversaries. The President's CNCI plan calls for 
leap-ahead research and technology to reduce vulnerabilities to 
asymmetric attack in cyberspace. Unlike many research agenda that aim 
for steady progress in the advancement of science, the leap-ahead 
effort seeks just a few revolutionary ideas with the potential to 
reshape the landscape. These game-changing technologies (or non-
technical mechanisms that are made possible through technology), 
developed and deployed over the next decade, will fundamentally change 
the cyber game into one where the good guys have an advantage. Leap-
ahead technologies are so-called because they enable us to leap over 
the obstacles preventing us from being where we want to be. These 
advances may require years of concerted research and development to be 
fully realized, good ideas often do, however the intent is to start now 
and gain momentum as intermediate results emerge.
    Objective: The National Cyber Leap Year has two main goals: (1) 
Construction of a national research and technology agenda that both 
identifies the most promising ideas and describes the strategy that 
brings those ideas to fruition; and (2) jumpstarting game-changing, 
multi-disciplinary development efforts.
    The Leap Year will run during fiscal year 2009, and will comprise 
two stages, prospecting and focusing.
    Stage One, which we open with this formal announcement and describe 
in detail below, canvasses the cybersecurity community for ideas. Our 
aim is to hear from all those who wish to help.
    The heart of Stage Two, which begins February 1, 2009, is a series 
of workshops to develop the best ideas from Stage One. As the year 
progresses we will publish four types of findings:
    (1) Game-changers--descriptions of the paradigm-busters that 
technology will make possible; (2) Technical Strategy--as specifically 
as possible, the invention and/or research which needs to be done; (3) 
Productization/Implementation--how the capability will be packaged, 
delivered and used, and by whom; and (4) Recommendations--prescriptions 
for success, to include funding, policies, authorities, tasking-
whatever would smooth the way to realization of the game-changing 
    Deadline for Submission under this RFI: We anticipate multiple 
cycles of Stage One opportunities. The first Stage One cycle is covered 
by this RFI and will close December 15, 2008.
    Subsequent cycles will be announced by separate RFIs. All Stage One 
cycles are expected to be complete by April 15, 2009.

Stage One Description

What We Are Looking For

    Contributors may submit up to 3 leap-ahead technology concepts. 
Multidisciplinary contributions from organizations with cybersecurity 
interests are especially encouraged.
    Cognizant of the limits of conventional studies and reports, 
substantial thought has been given to what framework and methodology 
might render the community's best ideas understandable, compelling and 
actionable to those who need to support them, fund them and adopt them. 
Since our search is for game-changing concepts, we ask that submitters 
explain their ideas in terms of a game. Many ideas will fall into the 
following three categories. Ideas that:
    Morph the gameboard--(change the defensive terrain (permanently or 
adaptively) to make it harder for the attacker to maneuver and achieve 
his goals).
    Example: Non-persistent virtual machines--every time the enemy 
takes a hill, the hill goes away.
    Change the rules--(lay the foundation for cyber civilization by 
changing network protocols and norms to favor our society's values).
    Example: The no-call list--direct marketers have to ``attack'' on 
customer terms now.
    Raise the stakes--(make the cost to play less advantageous to the 
attacker by raising risk, lowering value, etc.).
    Example: Charging for e-mail--making the SPAMmer ante up means a 
lot more fish have to bite for SPAM to pay.
    Ideas that change the game in some other dimension are also 
welcome; just be sure to explain how.

Who Can Participate

    This RFI is open to all and we especially encourage public and 
private sector groups (e.g. universities, government laboratories, 
companies, non-profit groups, user groups) with cybersecurity interests 
to participate. Collaborative, multi-disciplinary efforts are also 
highly encouraged. Participants in Stage One must be willing to 
participate in Stage Two should one of their ideas be selected. 
Participants must also be willing to have their ideas posted for 
discussion on a public Web site and/or included in our final report.

How We Will Use It

    The best ideas from Stage One will go on to Stage Two. Stage One 
submissions may be posted on our Web site for elaboration and 
improvement, as a key goal of the leap year is to engage diverse 
sectors (e.g. government, academia, commercial, international) in 
identifying multi-dimensional strategies and, where it makes sense, in 
rolling up their sleeves and starting to work. Submissions crafted with 
that larger community in mind will be the most compelling and 
    Leap Year interim result and emerging guidance will be posted at: 
http://www.nitrd.gov/leapyear/. Questions and submissions should be 
addressed to: [email protected].
    In accordance with FAR 15.202(3), responses to this notice are not 
offers and cannot be accepted by the Government to form a binding 
contract. Responders are solely responsible for all expenses associated 
with responding to this RFI, including any subsequent requests for 
    All responses must be no more than two pages long (12 pt font, 1'' 
margins) and in this form:
    Who you are--Name, credentials, group membership.
    Game-changing dimension--Board, Rules, Stakes?
    Concept--What is the idea and why does it change the game?
    Vision--Make us believe in your idea (What would the world look 
like if this were in place? How would people get it, use it? What makes 
you think this is possible? What needs to happen for this to become 
real? Which parts already exist; which parts need to be invented?).
    Method--What process did you use to formulate and refine your 
concept? What assumptions or dependencies underlie your analysis?
    Dream team--Who are the people you'd need to have on your team to 
make this real? If you just know disciplines that's OK. If you have 
names, explain what those people do. If your idea is selected for 
further consideration, we will do our best to bring these people 
together for a phase two workshop. Responses must be submitted via 
http://www.nitrd.gov/leapyear/ or e-mailed to [email protected]. 
Responses to this RFI must be received by December 15, 2008 so that 
arrangements can be made for Stage Two activities beginning on or about 
February 1, 2009. Additional Stage One cycles, if any, will be 
announced by separate RFI with all Stage One activities expected to be 
complete by April 15, 2009.
    Appendix A contains a sample submission and review considerations.

[[Page 60726]]

Appendix A

Sample Submission

    Who you are--quieteveningathome.org--We are a 501c3 group with 
50,000 members dedicated to the preservation of the dinner hour as the 
core of American civilization.
    Game-changing dimension--Change the rules.
    Concept--Telemarketers are using our resources and time to market 
their products. They can call and interrupt our dinners and use our own 
telephones to reach us. What if we changed the rules to ``don't call 
us, we'll call you?''
    Vision--The vision is a national do-not-call register. People 
should be able to go to donotcall.gov and register their phone number. 
It would be illegal for telemarketers who have not been given 
permission to call someone. If a telemarketer makes an illegal call, 
the recipient should be able to report them to a government agency and 
they should be fined. The technology to do this is easy, we are not 
sure about the laws and policies. Courts have ruled differently on this 
issue at different times. We think the political climate is friendly 
today for Federal legislation.
    Method--We announced our search for ideas on our website and 
submissions were made there. We also publicized through restaurant and 
catering associations with whom we often partner, who offered 
interruption-free free meals for brainstorming sessions. Participation 
was not limited to members, but could not be anonymous, since it was 
our intention to follow up with submitters. The Board of Directors of 
QEAH enlisted the aid of Prandia University to work with the submitters 
of the best ideas to develop them into even better ideas. The Board 
ensured all the aspects described in the Leap Year RFI were addressed 
in our final submissions.
    Dream team--Federal Trade Commission, Federal Communications 
Commission, constitutional lawyer, Telemarketers' Association, Consumer 
Union, Oracle or other database company.

Review Considerations

    Submissions will be reviewed by the NITRD Senior Steering Group for 
Cybersecurity using the following considerations:
    Would it change the game?
    How clear is the way forward?
    What heights are the hurdles that may be found in the way forward?
    Submitted by the National Science Foundation for the National 
Coordination Office (NCO) for Networking and Information Technology 
Research and Development (NITRD) on October 8, 2008.

Suzanne H. Plimpton,
Reports Clearance Officer, National Science Foundation.
 [FR Doc. E8-24257 Filed 10-10-08; 8:45 am]