U.S. Wants Five Times More Contacts in War on Cyber Terror

By Steve Anderson April 25, 2012

Reports from the Defense Department's chief information officer on Tuesday said that the U.S. government is working to finalize a new set of rules to expand its contacts in the face of threats of cyber warfare, and once completed, those rules will allow the government to expand the number of companies it swaps data with about cyber attacks from the current 37 all the way up to 200.

Speaking at a forum in Arlington, Virginia, the Defense Department's chief information officer, Teri Takai, spelled out plans to expand the number of contact firms, and to start doing so following the necessary changes in the rule-making process to allow such steps to go forward. Takai described a world in which the United States government, as well as various tech firms, were under “mounting cyber threats” and thus required the new abilities to share data.

There is also, reportedly, a waiting list of companies who want to get in on the data sharing program, though all companies involved will have to agree on a protocol for sharing that information between themselves and the Defense Department. The Defense Department will, in turn, serve as the coordinator for what's being called the Defense Industrial Base Cyber Security and Information Assurance program.

Considering the wide number of hackings we've heard about in recent months, and reports that China and Russia are regularly mounting electronic attacks on United States businesses, it's safe to see why such a move is currently in vogue. Add to this reports that President Barack Obama requested a budget of $3.4 billion to augment the Defense Department's cyber attacks defensive systems and the Department of Homeland Security is looking to join in with the Defense Department's augmentations of the Joint Cybersecurity Services pilot program, and it's especially clear that the United States government figures the next war will be fought largely on computer screens as opposed to on actual dirt battlefields.

War is never a comforting thought, but the idea that it could be waged on systems we depend on every day is even more disturbing than usual.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

Contributing TechZone360 Writer

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