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[liberationtech] DHS considers initiating cyber attacks

Gregory Foster gfoster at
Tue Apr 17 06:29:06 PDT 2012

The sword is rattling the scabbard.

Silicon Valley Mercury News (Apr 16) - "Homeland Security chief 
contemplating proactive cyber attacks" by Steve Johnson

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Monday she would 
consider having tech companies participate with the government in 
"proactive" efforts to combat hackers based in foreign countries.

Napolitano, who made the comments during a meeting at the San Jose 
Mercury News with the editorial board and reporters, declined to say 
what steps corporations and federal agencies might take against foreign 
cybercrooks, who have been blamed for numerous computerized incursions 
against the United States. She made the remarks in response to a 
question, and emphasized the idea is merely one she would consider and 
that no decisions have been made.

In discussing the private partnerships she is promoting to combat 
cyberattacks, Napolitano was asked if instead of just taking defensive 
measures, the government and companies should be launching proactive 
counterattacks against foreign-based culprits. "Should there be some 
aspect that is in a way proactive instead of reactive?" she responded, 
and then answered her own question with "yes." She added, "it is not 
something that we haven't been thinking about," noting someone else had 
raised the subject with her earlier Monday.

However, Napolitano said some restrictions might have to be placed on 
businesses participating in such cyber activities because "what you are 
doing is authorizing a private entity to do what might otherwise be 
construed as an attack on another entity."

HT @JeffreyCarr <>,

Gregory Foster || gfoster at

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