Pentagon Considers Preemptive Strikes as Cyberdefense

Friday, September 17, 2010

Theresa Payton

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In case you did not see the Washington Post article, I have included it in the blog post below.

Here is why I think you should care whether the beauty of America is it will be open for discussion and debate.

Safety & privacy - they can coexist but there is a healthy tension.  Sometimes we give up privacy to be secure.  Sometimes we guard our privacy and knowingly or unknowingly give up some of our security.

It's a true conundrum.  We all want to be safe but what privacies are we willing to give up for that safety?

Are you willing to have your internet traffic "watched" and "read" to prevent a cyber or physical attack?

Many people say no until you put it in real terms...For example: What if by "monitoring" emails we were to learn that terrorists were going to hold elementary schools in key parts of the country hostage on a certain date?  Would "monitoring" and potentially reading emails  be okay then?

I would love to hear from you regarding your opinion...

Couple of highlights from the article:

1.  The Pentagon is wrestling with the legal implications of preemptive actions

2.  Cyber Command is staffed with 1,000 elite military hackers and spies

3.  Military officials have declared that cyberspace is the fifth domain - along with land, air, sea and space - and is crucial to battlefield success.

QUOTES OF NOTE:

"We need to be able to protect our networks," Lynn said in a May interview. "And we need to be able to retain our freedom of movement on the worldwide networks."

Another senior defense official said, "I think we understand that in order for us to ensure integrity within the military networks, we've got to be able to reach out as far as we can - once we know where the threat is coming from - and try to eliminate that threat where we can."


FROM THE WASHINGTON POST:

The Pentagon is contemplating an aggressive approach to defending its computer systems that includes preemptive actions such as knocking out parts of an adversary's computer network overseas - but it is still wrestling with how to pursue the strategy legally.

The department is developing a range of weapons capabilities, including tools that would allow "attack and exploitation of adversary information systems" and that can "deceive, deny, disrupt, degrade and destroy" information and information systems, according to Defense Department budget documents.

But officials are reluctant to use the tools until questions of international law and technical feasibility are resolved, and that has proved to be a major challenge for policymakers. Government lawyers and some officials question whether the Pentagon could take such action without violating international law or other countries' sovereignty.
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