The IT Law Wiki


The President's Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC) was established in February 1997, to provide the President, OSTP, and the federal agencies involved in IT R&D with guidance and advice on all areas of high-performance computing, communications, and information technologies. Representing the research, education, and library communities and including network providers and representatives from critical industries, the committee advises the Administration’s effort to accelerate development and adoption of information technologies. PITAC was appointed by the President to provide independent expert advice on maintaining America’s preeminence in advanced information technology (IT).[1]

Historical background[]

Chartered by Congress under the High-Performance Computing Act of 1991[2] and the Next Generation Internet Research Act of 1998[3] and formally renewed through Presidential Executive Orders, PITAC was a Federally chartered advisory committee operating under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA)[4] and other federal laws governing such activities.

In an interim report, presented in August 1998, PITAC argued for significantly increased funding for fundamental research in computer science and computer engineering, and also for new modes of research support and research management to increase the "horizon" of computing research.

In September 2005, Executive Order 13385 reassigned the roles and responsibilities of PITAC to PCAST.

Areas of research[]

The PITAC chose cyber security as one of three topics for evaluation. The Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy then provided a formal charge, asking PITAC members to concentrate their efforts on the focus, balance, and effectiveness of current Federal cyber security research and development (R&D) activities. To conduct this examination, PITAC established the Subcommittee on Cyber Security, whose work culminated in the 2005 report titled "Cyber Security: A Crisis of Prioritization."