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Israeli PM Netanyahu declares establishment of National Cybernetic Taskforce

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this morning announced the establishment of a national cybernetic taskforce to encourage and develop the field of cybernetics and turn the State of Israel into a global center of knowledge, in cooperation with academia, industry, the security establishment and other public bodies.

The national cybernetic taskforce is being established in accordance with the recommendations of a special team from the Higher Committee for Science and Technology, which was appointed by Prime Minister Netanyahu, and is chaired by National Research and Development Council Director Prof. Yitzhak Ben-Yisrael.

The main responsibility of the taskforce will be to expand the state's ability to defend vital infrastructure networks against cybernetic terrorist attacks perpetrated by foreign countries and terrorist elements.

The taskforce is being established following several such attacks that have taken place around the world in recent years, including those which disrupted the electricity grid in Brazil, banks in Estonia and elections in Myanmar.

Israeli electronic networks are also under constant threat. For example, the Bank of Israel's website was shut down in 2008. This past June, after the Turkish flotilla, hackers attacked many Israeli Internet sites, including that of the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality.

Prime Minister Netanyahu has directed the allocation of a special budget to implement the five-year plan that will place Israel at the global forefront in this field. The plan includes investments in academic research and development, the establishment of a super computer-based center at an Israeli university, the establishment of academic centers of excellence, accelerated activity to bring researchers and academics back to Israel, significantly increasing the number of cybernetics students and upgrading university research infrastructures.

The plan will also encourage the business sector, especially high-tech, in order to develop blue-and-white technologies that will give Israel a significant advantage in the field. The Government will remove export impediments on cybernetic developments and the security establishment will increase assistance for the development of cybernetic technologies by private industries.

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