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US 'restrained' in cyber operations: Pentagon chief

Published on Mar 29, 2014 4:48 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States will show "restraint" in cyber operations outside of US government networks, Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel said Friday, urging other countries to do the same.

Hagel, speaking at the National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters at Fort Meade, Maryland, said that the Pentagon "does not seek to 'militarise' cyberspace." Instead, Hagel said that the US government "is promoting the very qualities of the Internet - integrity, reliability, and openness - that have made it a catalyst for freedom and prosperity in the United States, and around the world." The remarks came at the retirement ceremony for outgoing NSA chief, General Keith Alexander.

The Pentagon "will maintain an approach of restraint to any cyber operations outside the US government networks. We are urging other nations to do the same," Hagel said.

He also said that the United States "will continue to take steps to be open and transparent about our cyber capabilities" with Americans, US allies, "and even competitors." The idea is to "use the minimal amount of force possible" in cyber operations, a senior defense official told reporters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

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