Cybercom Commander Opposes UN Control of Internet. The commander of the U.S. Cyber Command said Thursday that he does not favor giving the United Nations the power to regulate the Internet.
Some regulations are needed to protect critical networks that control electrical power, banking, transportation and other key elements of society, Army Gen. Keith Alexander, who is also director of the National Security Agency, said after a speech to a security conference.
But asked whether the U.N. should have a regulation role, Gen. Alexander said: "No. I'm not for regulating, per se. I'm concerned about it, and this is a tough question. I would say, generally speaking, I'm not into that portion of regulating as you would espouse."
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Last month, Russia, China, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan submitted a resolution to the U.N. General Assembly calling for giving individual states the right to control the Internet. The resolution, submitted Sept. 14, calls for "an international code of conduct for information security."
It requests "international deliberations within the United Nations framework on such an international code, with the aim of achieving the earliest possible consensus on international norms and rules guiding the behavior of states in the information space."
China tightly controls the Internet through a cyber-security police force estimated to be more than 10,000 people who monitor Internet users and websites.
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Russia's authoritarian government has taken steps in recent years to curb Internet freedoms. Uzbekistan and Tajikistan also are authoritarian regimes that seek to control Internet use.
Gen. Alexander said that, rather than seeking U.N. regulation, individual countries "first need to step up and say, 'Look, how do we do this without regulating it?'"
The four-star general suggested bolstering Internet security by using "cloud" technology, which uses remote computer servers for applications and data storage. Other new technologies that permit greater visibility of cyber threats on networks also can be used to improve security, he said.
"I do think that there may be some things for critical infrastructure and government networks that we're going to have to direct out to the government," Gen. Alexander said. "These are things that you must do to secure your networks for government survivability."
Additionally, security cooperation between nations can be improved, he said.
"But for my grandchildren and my daughters out there, they have a great time on the network," he said. "I would not want somebody to say you cannot let your 2-year-old grab the iPad and launch [an application]."
As for future considerations, Gen. Alexander said U.S. policymakers are discussing whether U.S. firms should be required to divulge information about cyber-attacks.
Additionally, he said: "I think down the road we have to figure out how do we ensure that your platforms do not create a public hazard, but I'm not sure I would put that in regulation."
In a speech to the Information Systems Security Association conference, Gen. Alexander said U.S. development of the Internet brought tremendous benefits and "tremendous vulnerabilities" that can be exploited by hackers, criminals and nation states.
While Barack Obama and the mainstream media are busy celebrating the president's foreign policy triumph in Libya, American allies are rattling sables in a most disconcerting manner. As reported at the reference, Afghanistan is expressing its gratitude for America's help, including Obama's surge of 30,000 troops, by pledging to support our opponent in the event of a U.S.-Pakistan conflict:
"KABUL – In a new conciliatory tone towards Pakistan, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Saturday, October 22, that Afghanistan will side with Islamabad in any military conflict with the United States.
"God forbid, If ever there is a war between Pakistan and America, Afghanistan will side with Pakistan," Karzai said in an interview to Pakistan's Geo television.
"If Pakistan is attacked and if the people of Pakistan need Afghanistan's help, Afghanistan will be there with you."
Meanwhile, the brutal death of dictator Muammar Gaddafi has prompted liberal pundits to promote the curious notion that President Obama, an unmitigated failure on domestic issues, has somehow achieved noteworthy successes when it comes to foreign policy.
Apart from being in the 'right place at the right time' just as Osama bin Laden, Anwar al-Awlaki, and Gaddafi, were being vanquished, just what great foreign policy success has Barack Obama achieved?
His military intervention into Libya was an illegal usurping of war-making authority consigned to Congress by the Constitution.
He willfully violated the terms of the War Powers Act which allows presidents to take limited military action on an emergency basis pending full review and approval by Congress.
He spent more than a billion dollars on a foreign conflict which does not involve any vital U.S. interest.
Where is the foreign policy success in all of that?
Moreover, in unilaterally waging war against Libya, President Obama has diverted precious resources from areas of the globe (Iran, Syria, etc.) where there are indeed vital American interests that must be protected.
To test the objectivity of the mainstream media when it comes to Barack Obama and his Libyan "success," one should answer this question: What if George W. Bush had taken similar steps in another part of the world while in office?
The howls for W.'s blood would still be reverberating through the halls of Congress and in the news rooms of CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, MSNBC! Foreign policy successes? Humbug!
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