Judge Royce C. Lamberth of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia late this afternoon issued a preliminary injunction requiring the Interior Department to disconnect its IT systems from the Internet, with some exceptions. The preliminary injunction followed a hearing this morning in which the plaintiffs in the Cobell v. Norton litigation, who represent American Indian trust beneficiaries, sought the injunction. The goal of the injunction is to protect American Indian trust accounts from intrusion via the Internet. Lamberth wrote in today’s order that Interior will not have to disconnect any system “essential for protection against fires or other threats to life or property.” He required the department to identify and certify such systems within 10 days and provide specific justifications for keeping them online. The order to remove Interior systems from the Internet was the second the judge handed down in two years. He issued a similar order on Dec. 5, 2001, to address similar security concerns with the trust accounts. Full Story
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