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U.S. Claims Right to Return Fire Against Cyber Attacks - bring it bitches!

 
Just A Thought
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User ID: 93768
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04/16/2010 11:14 AM
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U.S. Claims Right to Return Fire Against Cyber Attacks - bring it bitches!
Just a few days removed from President Obama's historic nuclear disarmament agreement with Russia, the Pentagon today struck a decidedly more retaliatory tone in asserting its right to return fire against cyber-attacks aimed at the U.S. -- even if an attacker's identity remains unknown. Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander, Obama's nominee to head the government's new Cyber Command department, said in a Senate document that "even with the clear understanding that we could experience damage to our infrastructure, we must be prepared to fight through in the worst case scenario." Citing a military commander's right to self-defense, Alexander claimed that "it is reasonable to assume that returning fire in cyberspace, as long as it complied with law of war principles... would be lawful." The general outlined his approach to tackling cyber-terrorism in a 32-page Senate questionnaire that was prepared in anticipation of Thursday's hearing on his nomination.

Although the exact identities of individuals or organizations behind a cyber-attack are often anonymous, Alexander made clear his belief that authorizing swift counterattacks would enable the military to respond efficiently to an increasingly complex threat. In their questions to the nominee, several Senators drew an analogy to civilian law, pointing out that police officers aren't required to know the identity of hostile criminals before they shoot.

As the AP reports, though, the ways in which the U.S. military would actually go about conducting a counter attack remain a closely guarded secret. Alexander reportedly clarified several other aspects of his plan in a classified document, including his plans for dealing with cyber-attacks that originate within the U.S., and his beliefs on whether or not the U.S. should consult other implicated nations before undertaking an attack.

Alexander fully acknowledges that strengthening America's defense networks is the biggest challenge facing the Cyber Command, and says that remedying this "strategic vulnerability" remains top priority. But we'd still like to know more about Alexander's opinions on consulting other countries before attacks, which is the part of his approach that would really have the biggest diplomatic ramifications. No matter how serious the threat, cooperation, as the last decade has taught us, is always better than unilateral action. Cyber-terrorism, however, is an entirely different threat, and one that may require a new set of international protocol. We just hope that U.S. policy, in whatever final form it takes, fully addresses any diplomatic sensitivities that could arise.

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Just A Thought (OP)

User ID: 93768
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04/16/2010 11:30 AM
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Re: U.S. Claims Right to Return Fire Against Cyber Attacks - bring it bitches!
:5: Cyber-war!

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