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Pentagon: Offensive cyber attacks fair game

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Ellen Nakashima
Washington Post
November 14, 2011

The Pentagon has laid out its most explicit cyberwarfare policy to date, stating that if directed by the president, it will launch “offensive cyber operations” in response to hostile acts.

Those hostile acts may include “significant cyber attacks directed against the U.S. economy, government or military,” Defense Department officials stated in a long-overdue report to Congress released late Monday.

But the report, obtained by The Washington Post, is still silent on a number of important issues, such as rules of engagement outside designated battle zones — a sign of how challenging the policy debate is in the newest and most complex realm of warfare.

The statements are consistent with preexisting policy, but have never before been stated quite so explicitly, even in the Pentagon’s recently released cyberspace strategy.

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This article was posted: Tuesday, November 15, 2011 at 9:29 am





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