Thursday, January 21, 2016

The United States and Cyberspace: Military Organization, Policies, and Activities

U.S. military activities in cyberspace have been surprisingly widespread over the years, occurring mainly out of the public eye. Given the sensitivity of many of their operations, this is understandable to a point, but as the number of reported and unreported attacks on military and civilian infrastructure increases – along with the stakes – there is a corresponding public interest in how the Pentagon (and the U.S. government in general) has responded in the past and is preparing for future eventualities. Today, the National Security Archive is posting 27 documents that help illuminate various aspects of U.S. military operations in cyberspace. These materials are part of a unique and expanding educational resource of previously classified or difficult-to-obtain documentation the Archive is collecting and cataloguing on the critical issue of cybersecurity.

Today’s posting, including a number of records acquired through the Freedom of Information Act, can be grouped into six areas: the language of cyberspace, vision and strategy, military cyber organization, activities and responsibilities, computer network defense, and intelligence operations in cyberspace. Highlights include:

The terminology of cyberspace (Document 1, Document 10)
The creation and responsibilities of the U.S. Cyber Command (Document 6, Document 8)
The role of the Cyber Command and other military cyber organizations in Operation Gladiator Shield – defense of the Global Information Grid (Document 12)
The Joint Chiefs of Staff-mandated process for computer network defense activities (Document 2)
The Department of Defense strategy for counterintelligence in cyberspace (Document 3)
DoD policy, responsibilities, and procedures with regard to human intelligence operations in cyberspace (Document 19)

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