Private industry and government Internet initiatives are key elements to winning the war on terrorism, according to Attorney General John Ashcroft and a new poll concerning government Internet efforts.
"There are now multiple international locations and settings for various aspects of terrorism which makes their detection that much more difficult," said Ashcroft in a speech to The Conference Board, a legal association, last week.
"We will need cooperation from the private sector as we pursue not merely traditional prosecution efforts, but preventive efforts to detect and prevent these crimes before they happen," he said. Ashcroft added that there is a need to balance individual privacy with the government's informational needs in this new age of terrorism.
The Internet may play a key role in that effort, through so-called e-government efforts. According to a new poll by computer systems provider EDS, 90% of Americans support e-government as a way to improve information sharing and prevent future terrorist attacks.
The study found nearly 40% of Americans placed a high priority on investing more tax dollars in applications that improve communication between government agencies at the federal, state and local levels.
Plano, TX-based EDS also said a further 70% of those polled believe e-government will improve the ability of agencies such as the FBI, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and local police departments to coordinate a response to a public emergency.