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Obama to announce 'cyber czar' for digital security

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A daily summary of global reports on security issues.

President Barack Obama is set to announce Friday the creation of a "cyber czar" post to oversee the safety of US computer networks as the Pentagon plans to create a new military command dedicated to computer warfare. Both developments are part of the Obama administration's effort to better protect the nation's digital security in the age of cyberwarfare.

The New York Times reports that Mr. Obama is expected to sign a classified order creating the new "cyber" military command in the coming weeks. The Times notes that the Pentagon's plan has not yet been officially presented to Obama, but that "the United States already has a growing number of computer weapons in its arsenal and must prepare strategies for their use — as a deterrent or alongside conventional weapons — in a wide variety of possible future conflicts."

Officials declined to describe potential offensive operations, but said they now viewed cyberspace as comparable to more traditional battlefields.
"We are not comfortable discussing the question of offensive cyberoperations, but we consider cyberspace a war-fighting domain," said Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman. "We need to be able to operate within that domain just like on any battlefield, which includes protecting our freedom of movement and preserving our capability to perform in that environment."
Although Pentagon civilian officials and military officers said the new command was expected to initially be a subordinate headquarters under the military's Strategic Command, which controls nuclear operations as well as cyberdefenses, it could eventually become an independent command.

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