Military stirs NetOps debate

The Joint Task Force for Global Network Operations will publish a key document next week to generate ideas on how to better operate and defend the Global Information Grid, the military’s web of communications systems.

“Net Force Maneuver: A NetOps Construct” consists of proposals for Defense Department and industry to consider how to better conduct network operations.

The unveiling of the document during a security conference at West Point hopes to make maneuver for the GIG as important as maneuver in warfare, said Col. Carl Hunt, director of technology and analysis in the task force. He spoke June 7 at the Army Information Technology Conference sponsored by the Army Small Computer Program.

The document proposes:

* Reducing the high profile nature of critical military systems.

* Creating viable diversion networks and attracting intruders away from the military’s operational systems.

* Keeping network intruders occupied as military officials collect data on them.

DOD operates 3.5 million computers on 10,000 local area networks at 1,500 installations worldwide. The department’s reliance on networks for warfare and adversaries’ increasing sophistication in attacking them presents a big challenge in network operations for the military and industry, Hunt said.

The Joint Task Force for Global Network Operations oversees operation and protection of the military’s systems. The task force comes under Strategic Command, which oversees the military’s information operations, ballistic missiles and nuclear forces.

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