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HOMELAND SECURITY LAUNCHES CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE PILOT PROGRAM TO BOLSTER PRIVATE SECTOR SECURITY

06-25-2004

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security in partnership with local private sector and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, launched the first Homeland Security Information Network-Critical Infrastructure (HSIN-CI) Pilot Program in Dallas, Texas with locally 06-operated pilot programs in Seattle, Indianapolis and Atlanta to follow. The pilot program will operate throughout the course of this year to determine the feasibility of using this model for other cities across the country.

The HSIN-CI pilot program, modeled after the FBI Dallas Emergency Response Network expands the reach of the Department?s Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN) initiative--a counterterrorism communications tool that connects 50 states, five territories, Washington, D.C., and 50 major urban areas to strengthen the exchange of threat information--to critical infrastructure owners and operators in a variety of industries and locations, first responders and local officials. As part of the HSIN-CI pilot program, more than 25,000 members of the network will have access to unclassified sector specific information and alert notifications on a 24/7 basis.

?The Homeland is more secure when each hometown is more secure,? said Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge. ?HSIN-CI connects our communities ? the government community to the private sector community to the law enforcement community -- the better we share information between our partners, the more quickly we are able to implement security measures where necessary.?

The HSIN-CI network allows local and regional areas to receive targeted alerts and notifications in real-time from Department?s Homeland Security Operations Center (HSOC) using standard communication devices including wired and wireless telephones, email, facsimile and text pagers. The network requires no additional hardware or software for federal, state, or local participants. The technical capacity of the network includes the ability to send 10,000 outbound voice calls per minute, 30,000 simultaneous inbound calls through an information ?hotline,? 5,000 simultaneous email messages and 3,000 simultaneous facsimile transmissions in the event that information needs to be communicated. In addition, HSIN-CI network, in partnership with the FBI, provides a reporting feature that allows the public to submit information about suspicious activities through the FBI Tips Program that is then shared with the Department?s HSOC.

?We believe that the use of this program builds relationships that are critical in providing a more secure environment for local communities and the nation,? said Zalami Azmi, Chief Information Officer, Federal Bureau of Investigation. ?This program expands the Department?s efforts to share information and build relationships that will be crucial in the event of an emergency that is either a terrorist threat, man-made or natural disaster.?

Homeland Security Information Network-Critical Infrastructure is governed and administered by local experts from the private and public sector with the support of Regional Coordinators. The four pilot communities have also established Infrastructure Advisory Panels to assist in the administration and overall governance of the program locally; manage counter-terrorism and public safety information sharing; and to review and validate HSIN-CI applications. The pilot program allows local users to provide a unique perspective on the areas vulnerabilities, activities and response plans along with the locally known representatives from Agencies involved in incident management and response. The HSIN-CI Pilot Program is part ongoing efforts by the Department of Homeland Security and our federal partners to improve information sharing and collaboration among all of those involved in strengthening homeland security.

For more information about the HSIN-CI pilot program visit www.swern.gov.