U.S. Defense secretary Robert Gates recently told members of The Wall Street Journal CEO Council that the threat from cybertechnologies will grow from "considerable" to "huge" in the future. Officials warn that hackers already steal enough information from government agencies, businesses, and institutions of higher learning to fill the U.S. Library of Congress many times over. In order to prevent cyberattacks against the private sector, the U.S. military is working to offer privately run websites the same protections that it uses for its own sites, Gates says.
However, concerns about civil liberties and other legal issues make it difficult to use the Pentagon's security measures to protect domestic infrastructure from cyberattacks. As a result, the Obama administration has launched an initiative to allow for more cooperation between the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)—an effort that includes placing DHS privacy, civil liberties, and legal personnel at the NSA. Gates says this will allow DHS to "reach into NSA" in real time to "get the protection we need."
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