President Announces Expanded Cooperation with U
President Announces Expanded
Cooperation with U.K. on Cyber Threats
By Claudette Roulo, DoD News,
Defense Media Activity.
Washington D.C. – (DoD
News) – January 16, 2015 – President Barack Obama announced his intent to
expand cooperation with the United Kingdom in battling cyberthreats during a
joint media availability today with U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron at the
The expanded collaboration will be aimed at protecting
critical infrastructure, businesses and privacy from cyberattacks, Obama said.
While there is heightened attention to terror threats in the wake of the attacks
in Paris, the president said, threat streams have remained fairly constant over
the past six years.
"So I don't think this is a situation in which because things
are so much more dangerous, the pendulum needs to swing," he said. "I think what
we have to find is a consistent framework whereby our publics have confidence
that their government can both protect them, but not abuse our capacity to
operate in cyberspace."
Closing Terrorist ‘Safe Havens’
The collaboration shouldn't be thought of as a new doctrine,
Cameron said. "Ever since we've been sending letters to each other or making
telephone calls to each other or mobile phone calls to each other or, indeed,
contacting each other on the Internet, it has been possible in both our
countries in extremis ... to potentially listen to a call between two terrorists,
to stop them in their activity," he said.
"We're not asking for back doors ... As technology develops, as the world moves
on, we should try to avoid the safe havens that could otherwise be created for
terrorists to talk to each other," the prime minister added.
Wiretap laws in both countries need to be updated to reflect
the technology of today, Obama said.
"How we do that needs to be debated both here in the United
States and in the U.K. I think we're getting better at it, I think we're
striking the balance better," the president said. "I think that companies here
in the United States at least recognize that they have a responsibility to the
public, but also want to make sure that they're meeting their responsibilities
to their customers that are using their products."
Discussions between the private sector and the U.S. and U.K.
governments center on ensuring that law enforcement and intelligence officers
can identify and track actual threats without invading people's privacy, Obama
"The technologies are evolving in ways that potentially make
this trickier," he said. "If we get into a situation in which the technologies
do not allow us at all to track somebody that we're confident is a terrorist ...
and, despite knowing that information, despite having a phone number or despite
having a social media address or an e-mail address, that we can't penetrate that,
that's a problem."
Solving that problem will involve addressing legal and
technical issues, the president said, "But overall, I'm actually confident that
we can balance these imperatives and we shouldn't feel as if because we've just
seen such a horrific attack in Paris that suddenly everything should be thrown
by the wayside."
(Follow Claudette Roulo on Twitter: @roulododnews)
Special Report: The Cyber Domain
The Defense Department on Facebook
The Defense Department on Twitter
DoD News on Facebook
DoD News on Twitter
DoD News Broadcast Channel