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47 Percent of Americans Cyber-Unserious

Posted By James Carafano On June 2, 2011 @ 6:45 pm In Security | Comments Disabled

Earlier in the week, the media reported the Pentagon’s position that a serious cyber attack might require a military response—to which the only logical response is: You think? [1]

Now we have the findings of a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey that 53 percent [2] “of voters agree with this proposed new strategy and think a major cyber-attack on the United States by another country should be viewed as an act of war.” Here, the only logical question is: What is wrong with the other 47 percent of the people surveyed?

If (1) A cyber threat threatens the vital interests of the U.S., (2) You can attribute the source of the threat, and (3) Military action is proportional, then clearly, taking military action is a perfectly legitimate form of self-defense. You don’t necessarily need to declare war [3] to take military action, either.

On the other hand, if you wind up whacking somebody because of a botnet attack, you need to be prepared to justify that to the American people and the Congress—something this President apparently has trouble doing [4] when it comes to conventional operations.

America needs to wake up and get cyber-serious [5] before it is faced with a digital Pearl Harbor—because the day after thousands die as the result of a cyber attack, the poll results will show that 99 percent of Americans will think hitting back is a good idea. Protecting and defending against cyber threats [6] is a better strategy than damage control.

Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org

URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2011/06/02/47-percent-of-americans-cyber-unserious/

URLs in this post:

[1] You think?: http://www.foundry.org/2011/06/01/get-your-cyber-war-on/

[2] 53 percent: http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/may_2011/53_say_major_cyberattack_should_be_viewed_as_act_of_war

[3] need to declare war: http://www.heritage.org/research/commentary/2011/03/should-the-president-have-asked-congress-for-a-declaration-of-war-against-libya-before-bombing-no

[4] has trouble doing: http://www.foundry.org/2011/06/02/time-for-thoughtful-moves-in-libya/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Morning%2BBell

[5] get cyber-serious: http://securitydebrief.com/2011/04/21/getting-cyber-serious-fbi-targets-botnet/

[6] Protecting and defending against cyber threats: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/05/lessons-of-wikileaks-the-us-needs-a-counterinsurgency-strategy-for-cyberspace

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