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Suggested Citation:"B What Is CSTB?." National Research Council. 2002. IDs -- Not That Easy: Questions About Nationwide Identity Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10346.
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Page 60
Suggested Citation:"B What Is CSTB?." National Research Council. 2002. IDs -- Not That Easy: Questions About Nationwide Identity Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10346.
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Page 61
Suggested Citation:"B What Is CSTB?." National Research Council. 2002. IDs -- Not That Easy: Questions About Nationwide Identity Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10346.
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Page 62

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B What Is CSTB? A s a part of the National Research Council, the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB) was established in 1986 to provide independent advice to the federal government on tech- nical and public policy issues relating to computing and communications. Composed of leaders from industry and academia, CSTB conducts stud- ies of critical national issues and makes recommendations to government, industry, and academic researchers. CSTB also provides a neutral meet- ing ground for consideration of complex issues where resolution and action may be premature. It convenes invitational discussions that bring together principals from the public and private sectors, assuring consid- eration of all perspectives. The majority of CSTB’s work is requested by federal agencies and Congress, consistent with its National Academies context. A pioneer in framing and analyzing Internet policy issues, CSTB is unique in its comprehensive scope and effective, interdisciplinary ap- praisal of technical, economic, social, and policy issues. Beginning with early work in computer and communications security, cyberassurance and information systems trustworthiness have been a cross-cutting theme in CSTB’s work. CSTB has produced several reports known as classics in the field, and it continues to address these topics as the fields grow in importance. To do its work, CSTB draws on some of the best minds in the country, inviting experts to participate in its projects as a public service. Studies are conducted by balanced committees without direct financial interests 60

APPENDIX B 61 in the topics they are addressing. Those committees meet, confer elec- tronically, and build analyses through their deliberations. Additional expertise from around the country is tapped in a rigorous process of review and critique, further enhancing the quality of CSTB reports. By engaging groups of principals, CSTB gets the facts and insights critical to assessing key issues. The mission of CSTB is to • Respond to requests from the government, nonprofit organizations, and private industry for advice on computer and telecommunications issues and from the government for advice on computer and telecommu- nications systems planning, utilization, and modernization; • Monitor and promote the health of the fields of computer science and telecommunications, with attention to issues of human resources, infor- mation infrastructure, and societal impacts; • Initiate and conduct studies involving computer science, technology, and telecommunications as critical resources; and • Foster interaction among the disciplines underlying computing and telecommunications technologies and other fields, at large and within the National Academies. As of March 2002, CSTB activities with security and privacy compo- nents address privacy in the information age, critical information infra- structure protection, authentication technologies and their privacy impli- cations, information technology for countering terrorism, and geospatial information systems. Additional studies examine broadband, digital gov- ernment, the fundamentals of computer science, limiting children’s access to pornography on the Internet, digital archiving and preservation, and Internet navigation and the domain name system. Explorations touching on security and privacy are under way in the areas of the insider threat, cybersecurity research, cybersecurity principles and practices, depend- able/safe software systems, wireless communications and spectrum man- agement, open source software, digital democracy, the “digital divide,” manageable systems, information technology and journalism, super- computing, and information technology and education. For more information on CSTB, see its Web site at <http:// www.cstb.org>; write to CSTB, National Research Council, 2101 Con- stitution Avenue, N.W., Room HA 560, Washington, DC 20418; call at (202) 334-2605; or e-mail the CSTB at cstb@nas.edu.

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IDs—Not That Easy highlights some of the challenging policy, procedural, and technological issues presented by nationwide identity systems. In the wake of the events of September 11, 2001, nationwide identity systems have been proposed to better track the movement of suspected terrorists. However, questions arise as to who would use the system and how, if participation would be mandatory, the type of data that would be collected, and the legal structures needed to protect privacy. The committee's goal is to foster a broad and deliberate discussion among policy-makers and the public about the form of nationwide identity system that might be created, and whether such a system is desirable or feasible.

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