The Defense Department is finalizing “rules of engagement” that would put the Pentagon’s cyberweapons into play only in case of an attack on American targets that rose to some still unspecified but significant levels. Short of that, the Pentagon shares intelligence and offers technical assistance to the F.B.I. and other agencies.Unfortunately, U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has the same set of blinders as every other administration and legislator has worn. Namely, he just assumes that the only way to deal with cyber threats is to line the pockets of "Beltway Bandits" and insist that the government should be the only source of offensive cyber capability. And that is the reason why blocking the latest cyber security bill makes sense.
The "rules of engagement" should be…you guessed it…The Morgan Doctrine and rigid adherence to my Cyber Privateer Code (read it here). Otherwise, we really will have what Panetta calls a cyber equivalent of a Pearl Harbor from which we will not easily recover. Right now, we're guaranteed to lose because we're playing the game with our hands tied behind our backs.
Too bad this subject won't come up in the presidential debates.