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Several cyber security initiatives lost after Snowden leaks
From: InfoSec News <alerts () infosecnews org>
Date: Mon, 3 Feb 2014 09:28:10 +0000 (UTC)


By Ken Dilanian
Tribune Washington Bureau
February 2, 2014

WASHINGTON -- Early last year, as Edward Snowden was secretly purloining classified documents from National Security Agency computers in Hawaii, the NSA director, Gen. Keith Alexander, was gearing up to sell Congress and the public on a proposal for the NSA to defend private U.S. computer networks against cyber attacks.

Alexander wanted to use the NSA’s powerful tools to scan Internet traffic for malicious software code. He insisted the NSA could kill the viruses and other digital threats without reading consumers’ private e-mails, texts and Web searches.

The NSA normally protects military and other national security computer networks. Alexander also wanted authority to prevent hackers from penetrating U.S. banks, defense industries, telecommunications systems and other institutions to crash their networks or to steal intellectual property worth billions of dollars.

But after Snowden began leaking NSA systems for spying in cyberspace last June, Alexander’s proposal was a political non-starter, felled by distrust in his agency’s fearsome surveillance powers in the see-sawing national debate over privacy and national security.


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