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NSA director: U.S. needs offensive weapons in cyberwar

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The United States needs to develop offensive weapons in cyberspace as part of its effort to protect the nation from cyber attacks, a senior military official said Thursday.

“If your defense is only to try to block attacks you can never be successful,” General Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency and commander of the US Cyber Command, told a Washington symposium.

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“At times, the government has to look at what you have to do to stop an attack — stop it before it happens. Part of our defense has to consider offensive measures.”

Alexander, who spoke at a cybersecurity summit sponsored by the US Chamber of Commerce, said any offensive cyber action would need to follow rules of engagement similar to those in other military situations.

“We have to have a discussion on this,” he said.

Alexander’s comments come as the US military has started studying various strategies in cyberspace, including offensive weapons.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has begun studying building a platform for offensive capabilities in cyberspace and has called for participation from academic and industry experts.

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The US government has stopped short of confirming involvement in cyber weapons such as the Flame and Stuxnet viruses that have targeted Iran, but many analysts say there is evidence of US or Israeli involvement.


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President Xi Jinping warns China’s coronavirus situation is ‘grave’ due to ‘accelerating spread’ of the virus

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President Xi Jinping warned Saturday that China faced a "grave situation" as authorities raced to contain a virus that has killed 41 people and caused a drastic scale-back of Lunar New Year celebrations.

The world's most populous country, which is scrambling to contain the disease that has infected nearly 1,300 people and overwhelmed health facilities, is building a second field hospital and closing more travel routes.

After more countries reported cases, Xi said at a Communist Party leadership meeting on the disease that China was "faced with the grave situation of an accelerating spread of the new coronavirus" but that the country will "definitely be able to win the battle," according to state media.

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‘NPR will not be intimidated’: Mike Pompeo blasted for attacks on reporter Mary Louise Kelly

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National Public Radio (NPR) is standing by "All Things Considered" host Mary Louise Kelly after she was attacked by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

"One day after a contentious interview followed by an expletive-filled verbal lashing of NPR host Mary Louise Kelly, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is publicly accusing her of lying to him — 'twice,'" NPR reported. "He does not explain how and offers no evidence, but in their recorded interview the nation's top diplomat declined to respond when Kelly asked if he owed an apology to Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine who was ousted from that post last year after allies of President Trump accused her of disloyalty."

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Trump lawyers argue ‘the president did absolutely nothing wrong’ as GOP presents impeachment trial defense

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White House lawyers began their defense of Donald Trump at his historic Senate impeachment trial on Saturday, saying the president did nothing wrong in his dealings with Ukraine and American voters -- not Congress -- should decide his fate.

White House counsel Pat Cipollone said it would be a "completely irresponsible abuse of power" if the Senate follows the lead of the House of Representatives and votes to remove the 45th US president from office.

"They're asking you to do something that no Senate has ever done," Cipollone told the 100 senators gathered on a rainy Saturday morning for a rare weekend session at just the third impeachment trial in US history.

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