By Siobhan Gorman
The Wall Street Journal
July 7, 2010
The U.S. government is launching an expansive program dubbed "Perfect
Citizen" to detect cyber assaults on private U.S. companies and
government agencies running critical infrastructure such as the
electricity grid and nuclear power plants, according to people familiar
with the program.
The surveillance by the National Security Agency, the government's chief
eavesdropping agency, would rely on a set of sensors deployed in
computer networks for critical infrastructure that would be triggered by
unusual activity suggesting an impending cyber attack, though it
wouldn't persistently monitor the whole system, these people said.
Defense contractor Raytheon Corp. recently won a classified contract for
the initial phase of the surveillance effort valued at up to $100
million, said a person familiar with the project.
An NSA spokeswoman said the agency had no information to provide on the
program. A Raytheon spokesman declined to comment.
Some industry and government officials familiar with the program see
Perfect Citizen as an intrusion by the NSA into domestic affairs, while
others say it is an important program to combat an emerging security
threat that only the NSA is equipped to provide.
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