Computer Safety Is Focus of Bill

February 8, 2002


WASHINGTON, Jan. 7 - The House approved more than $800 million in grants today covering the next five years for the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology to conduct research on ways to strengthen network and computer security.

"Our economy relies on a vast information infrastructure that is woefully under protected," said Representative Brian Baird, Democrat of Washington.

He said the legislation would put "the best and the brightest to work" on making the nation's computers more secure.

The bill reflects the government's effort to shore up its computer security while trying to safeguard smaller networks and the personal information and systems of individuals.

Separately, the National Cyber Security Alliance, a government-private sector partnership, has created a Web site to help promote computer security.

The Stay Safe Online Campaign encourages regular security checks of computers. At, it provides tips and alerts and lists of protective measures.

The alliance includes AOL Time Warner, Microsoft, Apple Computer, BellSouth, the F.B.I., the Federal Trade Commission and the Defense Department.

"In this digital age, computer safety checks should be as routine as checking smoke detectors, the locks on your door or the brakes in your car," said Richard Clarke, the president's computer security adviser.