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US Cyberdefense Plan Raises Concerns

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WASHINGTON -- A plan to create a new Pentagon
cybercommand aimed at protecting computers has raised privacy and
diplomatic concerns, observers say.

The New York Times reported Saturday the Obama administration is
moving ahead with plans aimed at protecting the United States from
cyberattack and to prepare for possible offensive operations against enemy networks.

"The government is in a quandary," said Maren Leed, a defense expert
at the bipartisan Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Leed, a Pentagon special assistant on cyberoperations from 2005 to
2008, said a debate is was needed "about what constitutes an intrusion
that violates privacy and, at the other extreme, what is an intrusion
that may be acceptable in the face of an act of war."

Gen. James Cartwright,
vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a chief architect of the
new cyberstrategy, recently acknowledged there is question about how
the military could legally set up an early warning system for cyberspace.

"How do you understand sovereignty in the cyberdomain?" Cartwright
said. "It doesn't tend to pay a lot of attention to geographic
boundaries."

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