Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Pentagon ponders offensive cyber capability

Story from the LA Times via Boston.com. Okay, so the Pentagon which specializes in protecting its citizens by maintaining offensive and defensive capability during time of war, is looking into what amounts to another weapons system. This one just so happens to be a cyber weapons system. Now I ask you, why would this be considered provocative? You know that other nations have this capability (China, Russia, etc.). Why not the US? I say go for it! Just another bullet in the gun that protects us.

Notice also how the article points out that the system is directed at military objectives and will limit collateral damage in time of war. This is provocative? One would expect the LAT to slant the news, agreed? Anyway, give me your thoughts on the subject. Click the title for the entire article.

Military sparks provocative new debate

By Julian E. Barnes Los Angeles Times / September 9, 2008

WASHINGTON - Igniting a provocative new debate, senior military officials are pushing the Pentagon to go on the offensive in cyberspace by developing the ability to attack other nations' computer systems, rather than concentrating on defending America's electronic security.

Under the most sweeping proposals, military experts would acquire the know-how to commandeer the unmanned aerial drones of adversaries, disable enemy warplanes in midflight and cut off electricity at precise moments to strategic locations, such as military installations, while sparing humanitarian facilities, such as hospitals.

An expansion of offensive capabilities in cyberspace would represent an important change for the military. For years, US officials have been reluctant to militarize what is widely seen as a medium for commerce and communication - much like space. But a new National Military Strategy for Cyberspace Operations, declassified earlier this year, fueled the Pentagon debate and gave the military a green light to push for expanded capabilities.

The monthslong debate took on added urgency after the electronic attacks that coincided with the Russian military's push into Georgia in early August and reflects a newfound uncertainty over the state of global cyber-warfare capabilities.

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