Net Disaster Could Paralyze Economy, Study Warns

The U.S. economy could be paralyzed in the event of a major disruption of the Internet, an influential group of chief executives said in a report. (

Americas Internet and cyber infrastructure have become such a critical backbone for the exchange of information, that any major disruption could have significant economic and security repercussions.

The report, issued on June 23 by the Business Roundtable, a group comprised of chief executives of 160 of the countrys largest companies, calls on the federal government to set up response plans and establish clear lines of responsibility.

"If our nation is hit by a cyber [Hurricane] Katrina that wipes out large parts of the Internet, there is no coordinated plan in place to restart and restore the Internet," John Castellani, president of the organization, said in the report. "A cyber disaster could have immediate and nationwide consequences to our nations security and economy."

The organization noted that voice calling over the Internet, an increasingly important line of communication, would be disrupted in such an event, and the outage could also have severe repercussions for banks, hospitals and transportation networks.

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