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[] Congress lowers funding for intelligence, cybersecurity,

August 15, 2003 

Congress lowers funding for intelligence, cybersecurity 

By William New, National Journal's Technology Daily 

The House and Senate showed a reluctance to fully fund the White House's
budget request for Homeland Security Department's work on intelligence
and infrastructure protection in legislation that would fund the
department for fiscal 2004. 

"The committee is aware of the recent and rapid stand-up of the
information analysis and infrastructure protection directorate and the
challenges that have been presented in this endeavor," the Senate
Homeland Security Appropriations Committee noted in its report on the
bill, H.R. 2555. "However, the committee is concerned with the lack of
justification for increased funding ... and the inability of the
department to provide sufficient detail to date on each program, project
and activity." The panel requested that justification. 

The directorate would receive $776 million under the House version of
the bill, and $823.7 million under the Senate's version. The White House
requested $829 million. It would use the money to collect and
disseminate information on terrorist threats, integrate data with
foreign intelligence agencies, and develop and implement a plan against
terrorist threats and national vulnerabilities, according to the Senate

The Senate approved $98.5 million to monitor and coordinate work on
cyber-security infrastructure, including the creation of a national
cyber-security division. Some $33 million would be available for
advisories, and $66 million would go for cybersecurity from funds
available for remediation and protective actions. 

The committee said it expects the directorate's undersecretary to
coordinate with the head of the department's science and technology
directorate to protect "critical cyber assets." 

The Senate also offered $294 million to guide the development of
protective measures for critical infrastructure and $155 million for the
National Communications System to expand telecommunications capabilities
for national security and emergency preparedness.

The House would provide $20 million for a 24-hour center that monitors
activity worldwide that could impact homeland security. Funding for the
center is divided between the information analysis directorate and the
chief information officer (CIO), who would get $81 million overall. 

The House committee also directed the CIO to evaluate the department's
encryption programs for possible expansion. 

Funding for key officers varies widely in the two versions of the
legislation. The special assistant to the secretary for the private
sector would get $4.1 million from the Senate and $3.8 million from the
House; the office for civil rights and civil liberties would get $14.5
million from the Senate versus $12 million from the House; and the
privacy officer and Homeland Security Advisory Committee each would get
$675,000 from the Senate and $767,000 from the House. 

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) would receive $13.6
million for intelligence. The Senate also would provide a budget
increase of $2.6 million and 22 positions to increase intelligence

The investigative and intelligence needs of the Bureau of Immigration
and Customs Enforcement are expected to be funded at no less than $25
million from fees collected from immigration examinations, according to
the committee report.                     Brought to you by

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