This report discusses the National Plan for Information Systems Protection. This plan calls for new initiatives to strengthen the nation's defenses against threats to public and private sector information systems that are critical to the country's economic and social welfare, particularly those supporting public utilities, telecommunications, finance, emergency services, and government operations. As a preliminary document, it is intended to begin a dialogue on its proposals and lead to the development of plans for protecting other elements of the nation's infrastructure, including those pertaining to the physical infrastructure and specific roles and responsibilities for state and local governments and the private sector. Beginning this dialogue is vital. As I stressed at this Subcommittee's October 1999 hearing on critical infrastructure protection, our nation's computer-based infrastructures are at increasing risk of severe disruption. The dramatic increase of computer interconnectivity-- while facilitating communications, business processes, and access to information--has increased the risk that problems affecting one system will also affect other interconnected systems. Massive computer networks provide pathways among systems that, if not properly secured, can be used to gain unauthorized access to data and operations from remote locations.