NSA wants to monitor “key” private networks?

One of the more interesting talks at RSA this week came from the head of the National Security Agency (NSA), Keith Alexander. Some folks were made a bit uneasy by his suggestion that the NSA’s defense mechanisms be extended beyond military networks not just to civilian government agencies but also to “key” private sector networks. Privacy advocates point out that monitoring for security breaches could easily turn into monitoring content and a big question that was left unanswered was exactly which private networks are considered “key.”

You can bet many people will be watching this one closely, especially coming at a time when there is so much controversy over whether the president of the U.S. should have “kill switch” authority over the Internet and private systems – something that took on new meaning after the Egyptian government shut down the Internet in that country recently.

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