President aims to bolster government communications in emergencies, but EPIC warns of private network takeovers
- 10 July, 2012 10:13
An Executive Order issued by the White House last Friday seeks to bolster the government’s ability to keep its emergency communications capabilities intact during national emergencies.
But one privacy advocacy group expressed concern that the order gives government unprecedented new authority to take over wired and wireless private communication networks in the pretext of national security.
The order issued by President Obama directs agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Defense, Department of State and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to come up with policy recommendations and plans for ensuring continuity of government communications capabilities in a crisis.
The order authorizes the creation of a new National Security and Emergency Preparedness Communications Committee (NS/EP), which will consist of representatives from each of these agencies.
As part of its mission the executive committee will develop a long-term strategic plan and propose funding initiatives to support the incorporation of the necessary redundancy, mobility, interoperability and restorability of government communications capabilities “under all circumstances.”