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[] US-Senat denkt über Computer-Katastrophenschutz nach,

New York Post


September 28, 2001 -- Techies to the rescue! 
Local computer buffs are saying the Sept. 11 World Trade Center attacks
showed how desperately unprepared the city was from an information
technology standpoint - and Washington is set to do something about it. 

"This country needs the equivalent of a National Guard for IT
professionals," said Silicon Alley honcho Andrew Rasiej, founder of the
charity MOUSE, which helps wire public schools. 

While land and cell phones were overloaded, New Yorkers wandered the
city with pictures of missing relatives "like Kosovans," said Rasiej,
who found there was no easy way to use his tech skills when disaster

There were several overlapping databases of missing people and of
hospital admissions and no way for the Red Cross to tally the massive
number of donations they received, according to Rasiej. 

His idea is that thousands of techies be on standby, as is the National
Guard, to build networks and get information flowing as soon as a
disaster happens - man-made or natural. "If in every city there were
5,000 laptops and 5,000 cell phones ready for requisition, it would be a
start. The Red Cross doesn't have 5,000 IT professionals ready to roll
up their sleeves; nor does the National Guard." 

Rasiej's idea has raised the interest of Ron Wyden, the Oregonian who
chairs the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Science, Technology and
Space. He has written to tech leaders such as Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer,
Carly Fiorina, Lou Gerstner, Andy Grove and Steve Case, inviting them to
Washington next week for hearings on what could turn into the National
Emergency Technology Guard.

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