Homeland security’s tech effects

Thursday, 21 November 2002, 11:11 AM EST

The bill, which sets the stage for the largest federal reorganization since the Defense Department was formed in 1947, does more than reshuffle government agencies. It gives the government a major role in securing operating systems, hardware and the Internet, including allowing for more police surveillance of the Net; punishing malicious computer hackers with up to life in prison; establishing a national clearinghouse for computer and network security work; and spending at least half a billion dollars a year for homeland security research.

President Bush is expected to sign the bill by the end of the month. “The United States Congress has taken a historic and bold step forward to protect the American people by passing legislation to create the Department of Homeland Security,” Bush said after the vote. “This landmark legislation, the most extensive reorganization of the federal government since the 1940s, will help our Nation meet the emerging threats of terrorism in the 21st Century.”

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