Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office (CIAO), United States

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Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office (CIAO), United States

Created by Presidential Decision Directive 63 (PDD63) in 1998, the Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office (CIAO) of the United States Department of Commerce (DOC) has the responsibility of coordinating security for energy, financial services, transportation, telecommunications, and other

major systems at the federal level. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, its mission became even more critical to national security, and in early 2003 it was incorporated into the newly created Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

In May 1998, President William J. Clinton signed PDD 63. The latter called for new measures to protect critical infrastructures, which it defined as those physical and cyber-based systems essential to the minimum operations of the economy and government. They include, but are not limited to, telecommunications, energy, banking and finance, transportation, water systems, and emergency services, both governmental and private.

Among the specific policy measures of PDD 63 was the creation of CIAO, a section of DOC designed to have a life span of three years. During that time, CIAO would conduct a study of the federal government's dependence on, and vulnerabilities with regard to, critical infrastructures.

CIAO continued to exist beyond the term of its mandate, and three and a half years after its creation, its mission gained new impetus in the wake of the September 2001 terrorist attacks. On October 16, 2001, President George W. Bush signed Executive Order 13231, "On Critical Infrastructure Protection," which established the Critical Infrastructure Protection Board (CIPB), and appointed the director of CIAO as a member of both the board and its coordination committee. On March 1, 2003, CIAO was moved from DOC to the newly created DHS.



Frank, Diane. "Cybersecurity Center Takes Shape." Federal Computer Week 16, no. 4 (February 18, 2002): 10.

Piazza, Peter. "Sunset of the CIAO? Industry May Decide." Security Management. 44, no. 11 (November 2000): 36.


Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office. <> (January 28, 2003).


Commerce Department Intelligence and Security Responsibilities, United States
Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office (CIAO), United States
Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC), United States National

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