Hagel Addresses Cyber Jurisdiction in Hill Testimony
By Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, June 12, 2013 The fiscal year 2014 defense budget request significantly increases the Defense Department’s cyber capacity -- an area where it lacks authority but has most of the assets, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told the Senate Budget Committee here today.
The secretary and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, appeared today before the House and Senate budget committees. In the House hearing, Hagel noted cyber is an interagency responsibility, with law assigning the Department of Homeland Security much of the lead responsibility, but with of the national capability centered in U.S. Cyber Command.
The secretary noted that Army Gen. Keith B. Alexander, Cybercom commander and director of the National Security Agency, was scheduled to testify on cybersecurity threats later in the day.
The interagency effort is going well, Hagel said, but he added that private-sector concerns are mounting.
“The bigger issues -- the privacy issues, the business issues -- [are] what I understand really led to the breakdown in your efforts here on the Hill in trying to find compromise legislation last December,” the secretary told the lawmakers. “That yet needs to be bolted together.”
Those issues complicate what the Pentagon can do, he added, because the Defense Department is chartered to protect only national security networks.
“When you veer out in the private sector, how far you can go, what legal authorities you have, what laws govern that, are, I think, the large area of some contested debate,” the secretary said.