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Innovation in Information Technology (2003)

Chapter:What is CSTB?

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Suggested Citation:"What is CSTB?." National Research Council. 2003. Innovation in Information Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10795.
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What Is CSTB?

As 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 technical and public policy issues relating to computing and communications. Composed of leaders from industry and academia, CSTB conducts studies of critical national issues and makes recommendations to government, industry, and academia. CSTB also provides a neutral meeting ground for consideration of complex issues where resolution and action may be premature. It convenes discussions that bring together principals from the public and private sectors, assuring consideration of key 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 appraisal of technical, economic, social, and policy issues. Beginning with early work in computer and communications security, cyber-assurance 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 they grow in importance.

To do its work, CSTB draws on some of the best minds in the country and from around the world, inviting experts to participate in its projects as a public service. Studies are conducted by balanced committees without direct financial interests in the topics they are addressing. Those

Suggested Citation:"What is CSTB?." National Research Council. 2003. Innovation in Information Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10795.
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committees meet, confer electronically, and build analyses through their deliberations. Additional expertise 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 telecommunications 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, information 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.

CSTB projects address a diverse range of topics affected by the evolution of information technology. Recently completed reports include Beyond Productivity: Information Technology, Innovation, and Creativity; Cybersecurity Today and Tomorrow: Pay Now or Pay Later; Youth, Pornography, and the Internet; Broadband: Bringing Home the Bits; The Digital Dilemma: Intellectual Property in the Information Age ; IDs—Not That Easy: Questions About Nationwide Identity Systems; The Internet Under Crisis Conditions: Learning from September 11; and IT Roadmap to a Geospatial Future. For further information about CSTB reports and active projects, see <http://cstb.org>.

Suggested Citation:"What is CSTB?." National Research Council. 2003. Innovation in Information Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10795.
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Page71
Suggested Citation:"What is CSTB?." National Research Council. 2003. Innovation in Information Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10795.
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Page72
Innovation in Information Technology Get This Book
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Progress in information technology (IT) has been remarkable, but the best truly is yet to come: the power of IT as a human enabler is just beginning to be realized. Whether the nation builds on this momentum or plateaus prematurely depends on today's decisions about fundamental research in computer science (CS) and the related fields behind IT.

The Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB) has often been asked to examine how innovation occurs in IT, what the most promising research directions are, and what impacts such innovation might have on society. Consistent themes emerge from CSTB studies, notwithstanding changes in information technology itself, in the IT-producing sector, and in the U.S. university system, a key player in IT research.

In this synthesis report, based largely on the eight CSTB reports enumerated below, CSTB highlights these themes and updates some of the data that support them.

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