Joseph Traub

Paper #: 96-06-041

At its first meeting in 1986 the Computer Science and Technology Board, National Research Council, identified six critical national issues. I discuss these six issues as they appeared in 1986 and how they appear for my 1996 vantage. There was a seventh critical issue which I did not want to raise in 1986. Starting in the mid-eighties, I noticed various ways in which our information infrastructure was vulnerable to electronic or physical attack. I didn't go public with this concern because I feared it would do more harm than good. There is now considerable attention being paid to our vulnerability especially by the Department of Defense, and there has been much media attention. However, I have strong concerns and feel now is the time to express them. My focus will be on the civilian infrastructure, although it is sometimes difficult to separate military from civilian in this domain.