Pentagon’s Cyber Command seeks authority to expand its battlefield

image: USAF

Ellen Nakashima
The Washington Post

The Pentagon’s new Cyber Command is seeking authority to carry out computer network attacks around the globe to protect U.S. interests, drawing objections from administration lawyers uncertain about the legality of offensive operations.

Cyber Command’s chief, Gen. Keith B. Alexander, who also heads the National Security Agency, wants sufficient maneuvering room for his new command to mount what he has called “the full spectrum” of operations in cyberspace.

Offensive actions could include shutting down part of an opponent’s computer network to preempt a cyber-attack against a U.S. target or changing a line of code in an adversary’s computer to render malicious software harmless. They are operations that destroy, disrupt or degrade targeted computers or networks.

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