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New Cyber Chief Outlines Strategy

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Gen. Keith Alexander, head of U.S. Cyber Command

Center for Strategic International Studies

Security experts said this week that they were cheered by calls from General Keith Alexander, head of the new U.S. Cyber Command, for global rules of engagement for cyber-war, and for increased engagement with nations that are major sources of cyber crime and espionage, including Russia and China.

Following through on these calls will be crucial to securing cyberspace, says Ronald Deibert, who directs the Citizen Lab Internet think-tank at the University of Toronto. "There is a major imperative for governments to negotiate the 'rules of the road' for engagement in this domain, or risk increasing chaos and mutual insecurity," he says.

But the role will be more expansive than that, as Alexander made clear in his June 3 talk at CSIS, his first public appearance since his confirmation. The Cyber Command will also support military and counterterrorism missions, work with the Department of Homeland Security to help protect government and private networks and--if his speech was any indication--serve as a means to advance global cyber accords. (Highlights and a full transcript can be found here.)

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