Cyber war, cyber espionage and your network security

Cyber-rattling by military fuels ongoing debate and struggle for control

A story by Seymour Hersh in The New Yorker lays out the competing interests at work to determine future responsibility for securing the nation's critical electronic infrastructure, including power grids and the Internet. As framed by Hersh, much of the debate hinges on drawing -- and blurring -- distinctions between cyber espionage and so-called cyber war.   

From the article:

In May, after years of planning, the U.S. Cyber Command was officially activated, and took operational control of disparate cyber-security and attack units that had been scattered among the four military services. Its commander, Army General Keith Alexander, a career intelligence officer, has made it clear that he wants more access to e-mail, social networks, and the Internet to protect America and fight in what he sees as a new warfare domain-cyberspace. In the next few months, President Obama, who has publicly pledged that his Administration will protect openness and privacy on the Internet, will have to make choices that will have enormous consequences for the future of an ever-growing maze of new communication techniques: Will America's networks be entrusted to civilians or to the military? Will cyber security be treated as a kind of war?

What do you think? (That's a rhetorical question, but feel free to take it literally, too.)

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