May 1990: The GAO says the Computer Security Act of 1987 is failing to protect government data. Agency heads say
budget problems contribute to the failure.
February 1991: Data theft "is a serious strategic threat to national
security," says Michelle Van Cleave, the White House Assistant Director for National Security Affairs.
Cyber-Attacks by Al Qaeda Feared (The Washington Post, Jun 27, 2002)
White House Pushing Cybersecurity Insurance (washingtonpost.com, Jun 27, 2002)
Related Documents and Resources On The Web (washingtonpost.com, May 16, 2003)
Key Players in U.S. Government's Cybersecurity Efforts (washingtonpost.com, May 16, 2003)
A Short History of Computer Viruses and Attacks (washingtonpost.com, Feb 14, 2003)
July 1996: Rep. Stephen Horn (R-Calif.), chairman of a House
Government Reform subcommittee, publishes his first quarterly "Year 2000 readiness report card" for federal agencies and offices. Many of them receive failing grades.
July 1996: President Clinton establishes the President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection, charged with coordinating and protecting vital
infrastructure systems (gas, oil, telecom, water, transportation, etc.)
against physical and electronic attack.
February 1998: President Clinton appoints former Deputy Budget
Director John Koskinen to chair his Year 2000 Conversion Council. The
council centralizes executive branch efforts to prepare government
agencies for the date rollover. The council also becomes a template
for later executive branch efforts to centralize oversight of
April 1998: Realizing that Y2K problems could affect sectors under the jurisdiction of several congressional committees, U.S. Senate leaders appoint Robert Bennett (R-Utah) and Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) to chair a panel on Y2K readiness. The committee keeps close tabs on businesses and government efforts to ready their systems for the date rollover.
May 1998: President Clinton orders the government to work with
businesses to secure the nation's vital information networks, nearly
90 percent of which are privately owned and operated. Clinton appoints
Richard Clarke as National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure
Protection and Counter-terrorism. He also calls for a national
cyberspace protection plan, scheduled for release in 2000.
1998-1999: The U.S. government and the private sector spend significant sums (estimates range from millions to tens of billions of dollars collectively) fixing key computer and communications systems in preparation for the Y2K changeover. The
government establishes a $50 million domestic and international Y2K coordination center with many of the nation's largest IT compani
es contributing cash and staff.
July 1999: President Clinton signs the Year 2000 Readiness and
Responsibility Act, which limits the legal liability of companies that
suffer problems, despite making good-faith efforts to fix their systems
in advance of the date rollover. The law says companies being sued for
technological failures can raise a Y2K defense if they can prove they
took adequate steps to prepare their systems for the switch.
Jan. 2000: The media and the public watch as the world transitions
through Y2K with no major disasters. Many people question whether the problem was over-hyped. Critics point to many countries that s
pent a fraction of the amount the United States invested but had few -- if any -- Y2K-related problems.