FROM THE ARCHIVE
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Judge holds closed security hearing
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2001

A federal judge this morning held a closed hearing regarding the Department of Interior's virtual Internet and Internet-related shutdown.

An order U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth signed at the conclusion of the meeting allows the Interior to reconnect certain emergency systems to the Internet. These include services for U.S. Fish and Wildlife and fire safety information.

No Bureau of Indian Affairs systems are included or would appear to be among those affected. Regional officials have worried that payroll, contacts and general assistance payments to tribes may be delayed unless those systems are reconnected.

The Interior yesterday had requested an emergency hearing sometime last night around 9 p.m. The request came after attorneys for Secretary of Interior Gale Norton offered a plan to correct "significant deficiencies" in its protection of individual Indian trust data.

The plan includes installing firewalls and intrusion detection devices. These two areas were deemed critical by Predictive Systems Inc., a computer security firm that broke into the Individual Indian Money (IIM) trust with permission from Lamberth.

Norton has subsequently hired Predictive to help fix her numerous problems.

Relevant Links:
Indian Trust, Department of Interior - http://indiantrust.doi.gov
Office of the Special Trustee - http://www.ost.doi.gov
Trust Management Improvement Project - http://www.doi.gov/bia/trust/tmip.htm
Indian Trust: Cobell v. Norton - http://www.indiantrust.com

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