New Task Force Aims to Protect Nation with Better Information and Technology | Markle | Advancing America's Future
New Task Force Aims to Protect Nation with Better Information and Technology | Markle | Advancing America's Future

New Task Force Aims to Protect Nation with Better Information and Technology

Publication Date: March 6, 2002 | Back to Latest News

NEW YORK, NY/WASHINGTON, DC—An independent, multi-sector task force to determine how information and technology can enhance national security was announced today by the Markle Foundation in alliance with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the Brookings Institution.

The Task Force on National Security in the Information Age is co-chaired by Markle Foundation president Zoë Baird and former Netscape Communications chairman James Barksdale. It will include leaders from industry, government and the civil liberties community. Participants include EdVenture Holdings chairman Esther Dyson; Sun Microsystems chief researcher John Gage Governor Mike Leavitt of Utah and former National Security Agency deputy director Bill Crowell among many others.

In the months since September 11, military, intelligence and law enforcement experts and the public at large have increasingly recognized the critical role that information plays in national security. However, experts agree that efforts to enable better collection and sharing of information require clearer definition of the roles of government agencies, better assessment of new technologies for improved information handling and careful consideration of how to expand the use of information while safeguarding civil liberties. The group will allow thought leaders from a wide variety of relevant fields to address these matters together.

“Information is the key to a more secure society. As we expand the role of information collection and sharing, let’s be sure we also protect the democratic freedoms that make our society worth securing,” said Ms. Baird. “This task force is the kind of broad, multi-sectoral effort needed to address these imperatives and create a viable framework for moving forward.”

The task force will make recommendations regarding:

  • Technologies that enable the more effective collection and sharing of information in response to new security threats
  • Aligning governmental structures and rules with the more information-intensive approach needed to counteract new security threats
  • Balancing the expansion of information’s role in national security with safeguards for civil liberties—particularly in the privacy realm
  • Strategies for deploying information more effectively for law enforcement, intelligence and homeland defense
  • The role of the private sector in designing and implementing an information-based national security response, and the level of collaboration between private and public sectors

“New technologies, applied appropriately, can effectively transform our ability to meet the security challenges of the twenty-first century,” said John Hamre, president, CSIS. “This task force will develop the comprehensive conceptual framework that is needed to identify the information gaps and drive a strategy for remedying them.”

Over the next year, the group will release policy and briefing papers, provide information on promising technologies, and inform government officials. The ultimate goal is to produce a broad and coherent strategic vision that will enable the U.S. government, in collaboration with industry and civil society, to meet the challenge of the new security environment in an information age.

Current participants in the Task Force on National Security in the Information Age

  • Alex Aleinikoff, Georgetown Law School
  • Robert Atkinson, Progressive Policy Institute
  • Stewart A. Baker, Lawyer, Steptoe & Johnson
  • Eric Benhamou, CEO, 3COM
  • Jerry Berman, Executive Director, Center For Democracy & Technology
  • Robert M. Bryant, President & CEO, The National Insurance Crime Bureau
  • Ashton B. Carter, Ford Foundation Professor of Science & International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Wesley Clark, Stephens Group, Inc.
  • G. Wayne Clough, President, Georgie Institute of Technology
  • William P. Crowell, President & CEO, CyLink Corporation
  • Sidney D. Drell, Professor Emeritus, Stanford University
  • Esther Dyson, Chairman, EDventure Holdings
  • Amitai Etzioni, The Communitarian Network and George Washington University
  • David J. Farber, Professor of Telecommunication Systems, Universi ty of Pennsylvania School of Engineering
  • John Gage, Chief Researcher, Sun Microsystems
  • Slade Gorton, Preston Gates & Ellis
  • Morton H. Halperin, Director, Center for Democracy and Free Markets and Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations
  • Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., VP, Biological Programs, Nuclear Threat Initiative
  • John J. Hamre, President, Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Eric H. Holder, Jr., Partner, Covington & Burling
  • Arnold Kanter, Principal, The Scowcroft Group
  • Robert M. Kimmitt, Executive Vice President of Global and Strategic Policy, AOL Time Warner, Inc.
  • Dr. Richard D. Klausner, M.D., National Academy of Sciences
  • Michael O. Leavitt, Governor of Utah
  • Tara Lemmey, Founding Partner & CEO, Project LENS
  • Judith A. Miller, Lawyer, Williams & Connolly
  • James Morris, Dean, Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science
  • Craig Mundie, Chief Technical Officer, Microsoft
  • Jeffrey H. Smith, Partner, Arnold & Porter
  • Abraham D. Sofaer, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University
  • James Steinberg, Vice President and Director of the Foreign Policy Studies, the Brookings Institution
  • Paul S. Stevens, Partner, Financial Services, Privacy Law, Dechert
  • Rick White, President & CEO, TechNet
  • Philip Zelikow (ex officio), Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia

The Markle Task Force on National Security in the Information Age is a diverse and bipartisan group of former policy makers from the past six presidential administrations, senior information technology executives, and privacy advocates from both the public and private sectors. The Markle Task Force has recommended ways of improving national security decisions by transforming business processes and how information is shared. Its recommendations informed the 9/11 Commission Report and were subsequently included in two federal laws.  Learn more about the Markle Task Force at

About the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS)

For four decades, CSIS has been dedicated to providing world leaders with strategic insights on—solutions to—current and emerging global issues. CSIS maintains resident experts on all the world’s major geographical regions and is committed to helping develop new methods of governance for the global age. Its audiences include public and private policymakers in the United States and around the world.

About The Brookings Institution

The Brookings Institution is an independent, nonpartisan research organization, which seeks to improve the performance and quality of U.S. public policies. It addresses current and emerging policy challenges and offers practical recommendations for dealing with them, expressed in language that is accessible to policymakers and the general public alike.