Military Pondering Rules For Cyber Warfare

Team Infidel

Forum Spin Doctor
Los Angeles Times
April 7, 2008 By Associated Press
NEW YORK — U.S. military officials seeking to boost the nation's cyber warfare capabilities are looking beyond defending the Internet: They are developing ways to launch virtual attacks on enemies.
But first the military will have to figure out the proper boundaries.
"What do we consider to be an act of war in cyberspace?" asked Lt. Gen. Robert J. Elder Jr., who heads the Air Force's cyber operations command. The military is not going to tend to use virtual strike capabilities "until you cross some line that constitutes an act of war," he said.
Elder said initial uses probably would be limited to diverting or killing data packets that threaten the nation's systems, the way the military may intercept a foreign ship carrying arms in international waters.
The remarks came late Friday during a New York chapter meeting of the Assn. for Intelligence Officers, a nonprofit group for current and former intelligence agents and their supporters.
In an interview afterward, Elder said that in the future, the military might rely on network warfare to disrupt an enemy's communications system, replacing the need for conventional weapons such as bombs.
In any such scenario, Elder said the military would be restricted by the same rules of engagement -- such as requirements for a formal declaration of war -- that apply to conventional attacks.
Elder said that during the early days of the Iraq war, rudimentary forms of cyber attacks were used by the United States, including electronically jamming Iraqi military systems and using network attacks to hinder Iraqi ground units from communicating with one another.