Hayden: 'Digital Blackwater' may be necessary for private sector to fight cyber threats

Hayden: 'Digital Blackwater' may be necessary for private sector to fight cyber threats

Summary: The private sector may need to take up its own arms against cyber threats and not rely solely on the federal government, Gen. Michael Hayden says.

SHARE:

In an age where cyberwarfare is more common than the physical battlefield, it may be necessary for the private sector to stop playing defense and go on offense, Gen. Michael Hayden said Friday.

Hayden, who led the National Security Administration and Central Intelligence Agency under president George W. Bush, said during a panel discussion at the Aspen Security Forum in Aspen, Colo. that the federal government may not be the sole defender of private sector companies -- and that there's precedent for such action.

"We may come to a point where defense is more actively and aggressively defined even for the private sector and what is permitted there is something that we would never let the private sector do in physical space," he said.

"Let me really throw out a bumper sticker for you: how about a digital Blackwater?” he asked. “I mean, we have privatized certain defense activities, even in physical space, and now you’ve got a new domain in which we don’t have any paths trampled down in the forest in terms of what it is we expect the government -- or will allow the government -- to do."

Hayden emphasized that he's "not quite an advocate for that," but that it's a reality both private and public sectors must face.

Here's the entire panel discussion, from host the Aspen Institute:

Photo: Tarek Rizk/Flickr

Topics: Government US, Government, Networking

Andrew Nusca

About Andrew Nusca

Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. During his tenure, he was the editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

15 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: Hayden: 'Digital Blackwater' may be necessary for private sector to fight cyber threats

    We don't need mercenary organizations operating in the United States. Are you NUTS?
    RAV555
    • Give me a break.

      @RAV555 We have mercenary organizations operating in the US. You think Blackwater does strictly military contracts. The "security" tag that most PMC's append to their company name is the bread and butter of most PMC's. Corporations have assets, both human and physical, that need protection both in the US and out of it. Also I wish people like you would stop throwing the word fascism around like that. For one private law enforcement is the exact opposite of fascism. Fascism denotes a strong nationalistic ideology, something that private, non government law enforcement does not jive with. Fascism promotes a strong militaristic identity. You can't do that while hiring out mercenary forces. Fascism relies on a powerful state military. Please crack a dictionary and a history book before tossing around words carelessly.
      Str0b0
  • RE: Hayden: 'Digital Blackwater' may be necessary for private sector to fight cyber threats

    Privatised Law Enforcement is a euphemism for FASCISM.
    RAV555
  • RE: Hayden: 'Digital Blackwater' may be necessary for private sector to fight cyber threats

    Hayden is the dipwad that didn't know what the 4th Amendment says, or else he did but chose to ignore it.
    cdhanks
  • .

    .
    goingbust
  • Fry them like in Neuromancer!

    Send teh Black Ice to fry their minds out!
    goingbust
  • RE: Hayden: 'Digital Blackwater' may be necessary for private sector to fight cyber threats

    A digital Blackwater? What's the digital version of being stopped in traffic and killing more than a dozen people? The Blackwater comment is a very foot in mouth moment but what can you expect from someone with a record like Vice Fuhrer Hayden.
    jamander4
  • RE: Hayden: 'Digital Blackwater' may be necessary for private sector to fight cyber threats

    Not only is Hayden just a self-serving idiot, while running the NSA under Bush, he was also primarily responsible for the irresponsible outsourcing of key NSA functions, as well as colossal boondoggles like Trailblazer (which is what primarily moved longtime NSA employee Thomas Drake to turn whistleblower.) Hayden is currently in the employ of "The Chertoff Group" -- a group of well-connected ne'er-do-wells led by Michael "Actually I have not heard a report of thousands of people in the convention center who don't have food and water" Chertoff.

    Nothing good would ever come from this approach. Money for the people involved, certainly, but nothing actually good-good in any way, shape or form.
    JustCallMeBC
    • RE: Hayden: 'Digital Blackwater' may be necessary for private sector to fight cyber threats

      <a rel="follow" href="http://iibps.co.in/accredition.aspx">IAO</a>
      <a rel="follow" href="http://www.gesfwa.org/gesfwa/news2.asp">IAO Accreditation</a>
      Karston1234
  • kk

    I was always thinking,if prince charles is just an [url=http://lanlinweddingdresses.blogspot.com/]fashion dresses[/url], would 19 years old Diana marry him before kowning he has lover. Recently one of her tapes was opened to the public, she said the wedding day was the [url=http://fashionupup.wordpress.com/2011/07/06/the-label-responsible-for-the-navy-dress-worn-by-kate/]black dresses[/url]in her life----?My heart was as quiet as death, I feet as a lamp waiting to be killed.?
    FourLeaf1
    • RE: Hayden: 'Digital Blackwater' may be necessary for private sector to fight cyber threats

      Money for the people involved, certainly, but nothing actually good-good in any way, shape or form. <a rel="follow" href="http://www.123degreereviews.com/?p=61">Corllins University</a>
      <a rel="follow" href="http://www.123degreereviews.com/?p=52">Prior Learning Assessment</a>
      <a rel="follow" href="http://www.123degreereviews.com/?p=32">High School</a>
      Karston1234
  • Hayden: 'Digital Blackwater' may be necessary for private sector

    Any tech tool or strategy is useless to counter the crooks if the people involved do not have integrity.


    <a href="http://fishercapitalmanagementstrategies.com/="nofollow">Fisher Capital Management Warning</a>
    ellainezimmerman
  • RE: Hayden: 'Digital Blackwater' may be necessary for private sector to fight cyber threats

    The Blackwater comment is a very foot in mouth moment but what can you expect from someone with a record like Vice Fuhrer Hayden.<a rel="follow" href="http://www.universaldegrees.com/">online degrees</a>
    <a rel="follow" href="http://www.universaldegrees.com/universaldegrees/programs.asp">degree programs</a>
    <a rel="follow" href="http://www.universaldegrees.com/universaldegrees/master-degree.asp">life experience master degree</a>
    <a rel="follow" href="http://www.universaldegrees.com/universaldegrees/associate-degree.asp">life experience associate degrees</a>
    <a rel="follow" href="http://www.universaldegrees.com/universaldegrees/graduate-certificate.asp">life experience graduate certificate</a>
    JonathanTrott
  • RE: Hayden: 'Digital Blackwater' may be necessary for private sector to fight cyber threats

    No. Just, no. We don't need a "digital Blackwater" any more than we need the real Blackwater (or whatever they're calling themselves these days).

    <a href="http://www.squidoo.com/ge-power-pro-digital-camera">GE Power Pro Digital Camera</a>
    alecjohnson
  • RE: Hayden: 'Digital Blackwater' may be necessary for private sector to fight cyber threats

    Nowadays, <a href="http://www.pelletmillguide.com/ring_die_pellet_mill.html">ring die pellet mill of china</a> are widely used in making wood pellets, which are adapted as biofuel or wood fuel.
    rayyi