In March 2008 the Government published The National Security Strategy of the United Kingdom: Security in an interdependent world (external website) . The aim of the National Security Strategy (NSS) was stated as being to set out how we [the Government] will address and manage this diverse though interconnected set of security challenges and underlying drivers, both immediately and in the longer term, to safeguard the nation, its citizens, our prosperity and our way of life.
The NSS aims to broaden the traditional focus of national security - foreign, defence and security policies to include transnational crime, pandemics and flooding. These are not part of the traditional idea of national security, but they need the same responses as more traditional security threats.
The Government undertook to publish an annual update of the NSS, and in June 2009 they published Security for the Next Generation: The National Security Strategy of the United Kingdom: Update 2009 (external website) . This deals briefly with cyber security, but is accompanied by a further document entitled Cyber Security Strategy of the United Kingdom: safety, security and resilience in cyber space (external website) .
One of the priorities identified in the NSS was consulting on a joint Parliamentary National Security Committee to help monitor the implementation and development of this strategy. On 31 October 2008, the Prime Minister wrote to the party leaders and others outlining plans for the creation of a Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy. It was agreed that this should consist of 22 members: 12 from the Commons and ten from the Lords. The Commons members of the Committee were appointed on 13 January 2010, and the Lords members on 1 February 2010.
The terms of reference of the Committee are to consider the National Security Strategy.