The Homeland Security Department's Control System Security Program facilities in Idaho Falls, Idaho, are intended to protect the nation's power grid, water and communications systems. U.S. security officials and members of Congress are convinced a new law may be needed to promote improved cyberdefenses at critical facilities.
Consider what Hurricane Katrina did to New Orleans, and you get an idea of the consequences of a cyberattack on critical U.S. infrastructure: No electricity. No water. No transportation. Terrorists or enemy adversaries with computer skills could conceivably take down a power grid, a nuclear station, a water treatment center or a chemical manufacturing plant.
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President Obama visits Oklahoma today, talking of speeding construction for a major oil pipeline. Yesterday, he visited a solar panel farm in Nevada. Those were just two of the stops on a presidential effort to defend his energy policies. He's under pressure from Republicans because of rising gas prices.
And we start our coverage with NPR's Scott Horsley.
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The lawyer for the soldier suspected of killing unarmed Afghan civilians last week says his client may have suffered from diminished capacity, or in other words a mental breakdown. That possibility has focused attention on the Army's ability to detect and treat psychological problems among soldiers. NPR's Martin Kaste reports on how the Army's system works in theory and in practice.