[ISN] Official: U.S. studying Cuba's ability to disrupt Net

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Mon Mar 11 2002 - 01:02:05 PST

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    Forwarded from: William Knowles <wkat_private>
    03/07/2002 - Updated 09:28 AM ET  
    WASHINGTON (AP) - The Bush administration has begun a review of Cuba
    policy that will include an assessment of whether Cuba can disrupt
    U.S. military communications through the Internet, a senior official
    That issue will be examined along with others to determine Cuba's
    potential to damage U.S. interests, the official said.
    The senior official, asking not to be identified, said Cuba's
    involvement in international terrorism also will be part of the
    In addition, the administration is examining the possibility of
    seeking an indictment against President Fidel Castro in the 1996
    shootdown by MiG jet fighters of two Miami-based private planes near
    Cuban air space, the official said.
    Thus far, the centerpiece of President Bush's Cuba policy has been
    support of the U.S. embargo against Cuba. But the official's comments
    suggested the administration has a more proactive agenda in mind for
    countering Castro.
    A year ago, Vice Adm. Thomas Wilson, director of the Defense
    Intelligence Agency, told a congressional hearing that Cuba has the
    potential to use "information warfare or computer network attack" to
    disrupt "our access or flow of forces to the region."
    Wilson declined to discuss the matter further in open session, and the
    administration has not commented publicly on the subject since then.  
    The senior official said Cuba's ability to engage in cyberattacks is
    part of the policy review. Castro has dismissed Wilson's comments as
    Richard Clarke, the White House technology adviser, said in testimony
    in February before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee, that the United
    States could respond militarily against a foreign government in the
    event of a cyberattack.
    "We reserve the right to respond in any way appropriate: through
    covert action, through military action, any one of the tools available
    to the president," Clarke said.
    He said Iran, Iraq, North Korea, China, Russia and other countries
    already have people trained in Internet warfare. He did not mention
    Cuba is on the State Department terrorist country list, a designation
    based on ties Cuba maintains with other countries on the list,
    including Iraq, and the haven Cuba provides for foreigners linked to
    alleged terrorist organizations.
    As a result of the policy review, the Cuba section of the next State
    Department terrorism report, due next month, may add to the rationale
    for keeping Cuba on the list.
    Castro argues that Cuba has been the victim of a Miami-based terrorism
    campaign that dates back 40 years and has claimed, he says, thousands
    of lives.
    As for the embargo, Bush has said he will oppose "any effort to weaken
    sanctions against the Cuban government until it respects Cubans' basic
    human rights and civil rights, frees political prisoners and holds
    free and democratic elections."
    But there is strong sentiment in Congress to lift restrictions on
    travel by Americans to Cuba. The worst nightmare of pro-embargo
    stalwarts is the specter of Americans filling Cuba's tourist hotels
    and, in the process, leaving behind hundreds of millions in dollars
    for Cuba's cash-starved government.
    The senior official raised the possibility of a presidential veto if
    the travel restrictions are eased. At present, travel is permitted by
    journalists and some other categories of Americans who have a
    professional interest in Cuba. But tourism has been barred for years.
    "Communications without intelligence is noise;  Intelligence
    without communications is irrelevant." Gen Alfred. M. Gray, USMC
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