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Who Protects The Internet?

Who Protects The Internet?
Who Protects The Internet?

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By Matt Rutherford
December 2, 2008 

Who protects the internet? In part, it=E2=80=99s this man =E2=80=93 General Kevin 
Chilton, US STRATCOM commander and the head of all military cyber 
warfare. We=E2=80=99re broadcasting an interview tonight with General Chilton, 
in which he discusses the threat of cyber warfare, along with his other 
remits of space warfare and the US nuclear deterrent. Chilton is 
fascinating, and amongst other things has been a NASA space shuttle 
pilot, logging over 700 hours in space. You can watch the full interview 
here [1] (and it is embedded below).

The discussion with General Chilton brings to light a crucial question, 
however. Is the internet actually protected? The military remit is to 
defend the .mil networks, prevent online espionage, and develop 
offensive strike capabilities. But who=E2=80=99s protecting the rest? Given its 
integration with every aspect of our lives and economy, it=E2=80=99s surprising 
just how little we know about who defends our electronic nervous system.

The Threat

There=E2=80=99s copious discussion about exactly how vulnerable the US is to 
online attack. The alleged Russian DoS attacks on Estonia in 2007, and 
on Georgia this summer, highlighted the potential damage of state 
sponsored attacks. China has also been developing cyber warfare 
capabilities for some time, mounting online intelligence operations 
against Taiwan, and almost certainly against the US. The Chinese 
military has openly stated that it plans to be able to win an 
=E2=80=9Cinformationized war=E2=80=9D by the middle of this century. Russia, Israel and 
Romania are also alleged to have high-level cyber warfare capabilities.



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