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U.S. Navy Launches Cyber Command

The Navy becomes the third branch of the U.S. military to establish an organization to oversee its cybersecurity activities and protect against attack.
The U.S. Navy has followed the Air Force and the Marine Corps in setting up a command center dedicated to overseeing and protecting its presence in cyber space.

The U.S. Fleet Cyber Command is aimed at defending the Navy's IT systems against cyber attack and to use information systems and the Web to achieve military objectives, according to the Navy.

Vice Admiral Bernard J. McCullough III is in charge of the new command, which also will organize and direct the Navy's cryptologic operations worldwide. "To execute our defined mission we must be able to exercise command and control over our networks with dynamic, real time defense and information assurance enabled by intelligence collection," McCullough said in a statement.

To work in tandem with the U.S. Fleet Cyber Command, the Navy has recommissioned its 10th Fleet, of which McCullough also is in charge. Both are headquartered at Fort George G. Meade in Maryland, which also has Naval Network Warfare Command infrastructure and personnel in place. Maryland officials are positioning their state as a cybersecurity "epicenter" in the United States.

The 10th Fleet dates back to 1941, when it was established to lead anti-submarine warfare. The fleet was disbanded in 1945 after being used to protect Allied merchant vessels and military convoys during World War II.

The U.S. military began to focus its cybersecurity activities a couple of years ago by creating organizations within branches with those responsibilities. Three of the five branches of the U.S. military now have cyber commands, and the U.S. Army should have one in place by October.

The various cyber commands eventually will work together and report to the U.S. Cyber Command, which was established last year to coordinate computer network defenses and to direct U.S. cyber-attack operations after repeated attacks on Department of Defense networks.

McCullough said the U.S. Fleet Cyber Command will also work with schools, federal agencies, the private sector, and allies in its efforts.

InformationWeek has published a look at the technical and political ramifications of Google's problems in China. Download the report here (registration required).

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