Linkname: DHS's NICC Calls Cryptome
21 July 2004
This morning Cryptome received a telephone call from a woman claiming
to be a representative of the Department of Homeland Security's
National Infrastructure Coordination Center (NICC).
DHS says this of NICC:
The NICC, comprised of industry representatives from key companies,
Information Sharing Advisory Committees (ISAC), and industry groups
within each sector will be launched in May 2004 to support the
Homeland Security Operations Center. These sector experts will work
both within their areas of expertise and across sectors to maintain
constant situational awareness of the status of the critical
infrastructure. The NICC will provide a centralized mechanism for
sharing information with the ISACs and the private sector in
response to an event or crisis. The ISACs will also be expanded to
ensure that one exists for all 13 critical infrastructure sectors
and key segments within each sector.
She asked about two recent Cryptome reports on threats to the
Democratic National Convention in Boston and the person who wrote
them, James Atkinson:
Cryptome suggested she call Mr. Atkinson for comment, that his contact
information was given with the reports.
We asked if she had already contacted Mr. Atkinson. She said no, that
she wanted to talk first to Cryptome about why the reports were
published on Cryptome rather than sent to DHS. We said it was done to
give the information to the public, to make up for whatever is given
to government and withheld from the public.
The woman said the purpose of NICC was to provide information about
homeland security to government, industry and the public. That
information on Cryptome was useful for that and she appreciated it.
She asked what Cryptome is and does, what kind of organization it is.
We said it is not an organization, only a web site. We explained it
was a source of information on national security, intelligence,
homeland security and other public information on government
We asked what NICC intended to do about the articles and our
conversation. She said she could not reveal that, that her task was to
gather information and pass it to DHS, that all public statements must
come from the DHS public affairs office.
We asked her to repeat her name and telephone number -- she gave her
name at the start of the call but it was not noted -- so they could be
published as part of a report on the call. That we did this whenever
an official called about Cryptome offerings to help understand how
government works. She said she could not give her name again if it was
going to be published. She said to call the Watch Captain at
We asked if she was a public official or a contractor. She said she
could not answer that.
We asked for the name and telephone number of her supervisor. She said
her "government supervisor" was named D'Arcy Morgan, telephone
202-282-9201, and that he would be in this afternoon.
We called the Watch Captain and got DHS. We asked for confirmation of
the first woman's legitimacy. The second woman asked her name. We said
she wouldn't give it to us. The second woman said how can I confirm
who she is if I don't have a name. We said that's our problem, too. We
asked for the Watch Captain, and was transferred to a number. A man's
message said he was out of the office.
We called D'Arcy Morgan, described the call and asked for confirmation
of the first woman's role at NICC. He asked for her name. We said we
didn't have it. We told Mr. Morgan the purpose of the first woman's
call. He said he knew about it. We asked if the first woman was a
government employee or contractor. He asked why do you need that. We
said to publish a report. He said what kind of report. We said a
report on the calls by the woman and our call to him.
We asked if he was a government employee or contractor so it could be
put in our report. He said I cannot answer that, that the NICC was
part of the DHS. We said we understood that NICC was a private group
working with DHS, and wanted to know if he and the first woman were
private or government employees. He said he would check and get back
to me on whether he could tell us that.
The last call occurred about 1:10 PM EST.