Cyber-Threats, Information Warfare, and Critical Infrastructure Protection: Defending the U.S. Homeland

By Anthony H. Cordesman; Justin G. Cordesman | Go to book overview

Chapter 6

Role of State and Local Governments

It is obvious that state and local governments confront many of the same problems and issues as the federal government. What is not obvious is the level of progress that is being made in law enforcement, self-defense, and counterattack capability, and what standards should really be applied.

It is also not at all apparent that clear demarcations of responsibility exist to make state and local authorities fully aware of the limits that they can expect in outside aid, and their responsibility in communicating data on attacks and law enforcement intelligence. It is all very well to talk about partnership, but successful partnership is based as much on the clear demarcation of responsibility as on cooperation.

In general, however, there seems to be a consensus at all levels of government that state and local governments generally are not organized effectively to deal with the changes in critical infrastructure and information technology. Many programs at this level, when they exist, are badly underfunded and lag badly behind the private sector. This is systemic in many areas of protection capability; at the prevention, mitigation, and reconstitution levels.

If the federal government needs auditing and effectiveness measures, so do state and local governments. There need to be clear standards in law and regulation that enforce effective action, and some form of reporting that ensures that the success of state and local action can be monitored by the citizens of given communities and states. At the same

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