The US National Security Agency (NSA) is set to launch its 'Perfect Citizen' programme, designed to identify and prevent web attacks on American organisations, the Wall Street Journal has reported.
The Wall Street Journal said that the $100 million contract for the programme has been awarded to defence contractor Raytheon.
"Our Government... feel that they need to ensure the Public Sector is doing all they can to secure infrastructure critical to our national security," said Raytheon via e-mail.
Under the project, the NSA will assess the private and government agencies that control critical utilities, infrastructure and operations including electricity grids and nuclear power plants.
Speaking to tech news site The Register, NSA spokesperson Judith Emmel said: "Perfect Citizen is purely a vulnerabilities-assessment and capabilities-development contract. This is a research and engineering effort. There is no monitoring activity involved, and no sensors are employed in this endeavour. Specifically, it does not involve the monitoring of communications or the placement of sensors on utility company systems."
The NSA has said that it will not put pressure on companies to join the project, but it will offer incentives to bring companies on board.