$15bn: the high-tech cost of US attacks

Figure put on IT infrastructure damage as Attorney General calls for greater wiretap powers

Figure put on IT infrastructure damage as Attorney General calls for greater wiretap powers

As the world struggles to come to terms with the horrific attacks on the US last week, the costs of the disaster are beginning to emerge. It's been estimated that the bill to rebuild the IT infrastructure decimated in New York and Washington will top $15bn. According to California-based company Computer Economics, that figure includes around $1.7bn on keeping disrupted operations going in the short term - a task that will involve as many as 25,000 IT staff. A further $8bn will go on replacing the damaged telecoms and datacoms kit, such as PCs and servers, with about $6bn needed to replace the telecoms infrastructure itself. Meanwhile, senior US government figures are lobbying Congress to stiffen the country's wiretap laws. At the moment, law enforcement officials cannot get warrants to tap the phone or net communications of an individual on the grounds they are a suspected terrorist. The proposals to broaden the reach of the legislation, mooted by US Attorney General John Ashcroft, will be debated in Washington tomorrow (Tuesday).