Republican presidental candidate Newt Gingrich says he believes cyber-espionage should be considered an act of war, echoing the Pentagon’s stance on potential attacks to the nation’s computers.
Gingrich, in an interview with website Coffee and Markets, said “state-based covert activities” deserve a response that “creates a level of pain which teaches people not to do it.”
The front-running Republican candidate said he doesn’t believe the federal government has a “decisive” stance on cyber-terrorism.
However, the government cracked down on security breaches in recent weeks. Earlier this month, the State Department ousted a Venezuelan diplomat after she allegedly discussed possible cyber-attacks on U.S. soil.
Late last year, the Pentagon said it reserves the right to use military force against cyber-attacks, outlining an offensive plan and a specific military role in the event computer-generated attacks threaten the nation’s economy or infrastructure.
The potential for threats against the nation’s power grids, energy supply, public water systems and other critical systems’ supply chains supports the government’s strengthening its cyber-terrorism policy. As threats continue to proliferate, federal policies and procedures are likely to get even tougher.
Gingrich said if elected, he will seek to engage China and Russia — where groups have been accused of trying to infiltrate U.S. systems — in a high-level conversation and present them with an ultimatum, saying “there are games we’re not going to tolerate being played; we either need an armed truce or we’re going to engage as aggressively as you are.”
He said the talks should be “top secret,” and include people from the defense sector and people who “know an immense amount about this who aren’t part of any official structure.”
Gingrich ranks cyber-warfare as much of a threat as an electromagnetic pulse and a nuclear weapon in an American city, and thinks “all three of those require dramatically more attention than we’re giving to them.”
While Gingrich said he plans to take a tougher stance on cyber-terrorism, he’s not sure if he would include members of Congress in the talks.
Gingrich’s strong words, match up fairly closely with the Pentagon’s stance on cyber-war, showing that as the election process continues this year, cyber-terrorism might not just be a weapon that could be used against the U.S., but also as a political weapon.
leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
You can |
Leave a Reply