White House debates cyberwar rules

Friday, 23 August 2002, 12:27 AM EST

Richard Clarke, head of the Office of Cyberspace Security, said the government has begun to regard nation-states rather than terrorist groups as the most dangerous threat to this country’s computer security after several suspicious break-ins involving federal networks.

“There are terrorist groups that are interested. We now know that al Qaeda was interested. But the real major threat is from the information-warfare brigade or squadron of five or six countries,” Clarke said in an interview with Washington Post editors and reporters.

The White House last week called in Gregory J. Rattray, an Air Force officer and author of “Strategic Warfare in Cyberspace,” to accelerate the process of sorting out the legal and ethical issues surrounding such attacks.

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