Federal Public Key Infrastructure Steering Committee
FEDERAL CIO COUNCIL

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Background

The Administration's National Performance Review (NPR) has stressed the need to modernize Federal Government business processes through an immediate expansion of electronic commerce capabilities. Additionally, the NPR stressed the need for immediate development of a Government-wide electronic messaging capability for the transaction of day-to-day business. The successful implementation of these capabilities and the achievement of a number of other Government Information Technology Services (GITS) and National Information Infrastructure (NII) goals are directly dependent on the timely availability of supporting security services. Information Technology Recommendation 10 (IT 10) specifically requires the Government to "develop standard encryption capabilities and digital signatures for sensitive, unclassified data."

To ensure that adequate attention is given to implementation of these supporting security services and that the requisite infrastructure to provide and sustain these services is put in place, a single, accountable focal point in needed. The GITS Board Champion for Security has directed that the Federal PKI (FPKI) Steering Committee take on the task of providing Government-wide guidance and coordination of Federal activities necessary to implement a public key infrastructure. The FPKI Steering Committee will coordinate, oversee, monitor, implement, and report on the development of a public key infrastructure to support secure electronic commerce and electronic messaging as well as other Federal agency programs requiring the use of public key cryptography.

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