Tech Center Hosts Panel Discussion on Homeland Security

Posted: June 17, 2003 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

The National Center for Technology and Law’s Critical Infrastructure Protection Project, part of the Mason Law School, will sponsor a panel discussion tomorrow on the role of government and industry in homeland security. The event takes place at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

“Protecting America’s Critical Infrastructure: From War Room to Board Room” will focus on the debate over the roles of government and industry in shouldering the costs, setting priorities, and bearing responsibility for the protection of America’s critical infrastructure. Frank Sesno, professor of public policy and communication and senior fellow of the Critical Infrastructure Project, will be the moderator.

“Eighty-five percent of America’s critical infrastructure rests in private hands,” Sesno says. “Through this discussion, we will attempt to frame the priorities in protecting critical infrastructure and discuss what must be done and who is ultimately responsible–government or industry–and where they should overlap.”

Panelists include Robert Liscouski, assistant secretary for infrastructure protection, Department of Homeland Security; Rep. Christopher Cox (R-Ca.), chairman, House Select Committee on Homeland Security; Rep. Jane Harman (D-Ca.), ranking member, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence; John Hager, assistant to the governor of Virginia for commonwealth preparedness; John Derrick Jr., chairman and former CEO, Pepco Holdings; and Catherine Allen, CEO, BITS, Technology Group for the Financial Services Roundtable.

Offering first-hand insights, the panelists will examine homeland security vulnerabilities, defense preparedness and technological strengths and weaknesses, as well as debate the delicate balance of responsibility and information-sharing that is necessary between government and industry to effectively implement homeland security initiatives.

“As the nation’s critical infrastructures are primarily owned by the private sector and vulnerabilities are diverse and always changing, we face the difficult challenge of identifying what legal and regulatory impediments may exist to decentralized solutions and what new legislation may be necessary to help them along,” Law School Dean Mark Grady notes.

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