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Panel: ­.s. Lacks Legal Framework to Fight in Cyberspace

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The absence of a legal framework for waging cyberwarfare is crippling the U.S.'s ability to defend itself in cyberspace, according to a panel of government and private-sector experts. Setting up such a framework without putting the privacy and civil liberties of civilians who use the Internet at risk is possible but complex, says IBM's Steven Bucci. Both national policy and statutes that install definitions and limits of actions are needed to strike the proper balance.

The panel's discussion came at a time when the Defense Department is accelerating its U.S. Cyber Command, which has been assigned to execute offensive and defensive cyberoperations. A formal strategy document will be authored this fall and completed by year's end, says Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn.

Devising a policy on which to base legislation is difficult because of the lack of a working definition for cyberwar, while determining the source of a cyberattack remains a thorny issue. As a result, the U.S. cyber defense strategy will probably have a greater reliance on defensive rather than offensive tactics, panelists said.

From Government Computer News
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Abstracts Copyright © 2010 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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