According to The Washington Post, the Pentagon's plan to set up a cyber command to defend its global network of computer systems has been delayed due to congressional questions about its mission and concerns over privacy.
Even though the cyber command is more of a consolidation effort and no new authorities or broadening of its mission are involved, the potential for powerful new offensive capabilities have raised questions on Capitol Hill about its role. For example: How far can the Pentagon go to defend its own networks? And how does the National Security Agency fit in?
Paul B. Kurtz, a cyber security expert who served in the George W. Bush and Clinton administrations, comments:
I don't think there's any dispute about the need for Cyber Command. We need to do better defending DOD networks and more clearly think through what we're going to do offensively in cyberspace. But the question is how does that all mesh with existing organizations and authorities? The devil really is in the details.
Until these questions can be resolved, the confirmation of Lt. Gen. Keith B. Alexander as head of the command has been put on hold.