Pentagon's Cybercommand Raises Privacy Fears
Militarization of cybersecurity fuels debate on rules of engagement
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 13, 2009 8:04 AM CDT
Administration officials are considering changing some laws to allow the military greater access to networks and Internet providers to tackle cyber-threats.   (Shutter Stock)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – Plans to put America's cybersecurity under the control of the Pentagon are raising some thorny privacy and diplomacy issues, the New York Times reports. President Obama has insisted that the military, under the cybercommand being developed, will not be monitoring private sector networks and Internet traffic—but Pentagon officials say the nature of cyberwarfare could make that promise difficult to guarantee.

Military officials believe it could be necessary to intercept some messages from abroad to check for viruses and terror threats as a kind of  "digital customs inspection." The cybercommand, to be headed by a four-star general, will be tasked with carrying out attacks when necessary, and the military is trying to figure out the rules of engagement for when the threat comes from servers in neutral countries.