The Department of Homeland Security will protect Americans’ civil liberties and privacy while it teams up with the military to protect the nation’s computer networks, a senior homeland security official said.
An agreement with the military announced two weeks ago “in no way changes our respective departments’ promises to protect civil liberties and privacy,” Rear Adm. Michael Brown said Wednesday at the National Symposium on Homeland Security and Defense in Colorado Springs, according to The Associated Press.
Homeland security announced Oct. 13 that computer experts from the National Security Agency will work with DHS to protect U.S. computer networks. That agreement raised concerns among civil liberties groups, which said safeguards would be needed to protect civil rights.
That partnership won’t violate civil rights or augment the military’s role to operate inside the nation if a cyber attack were to occur, Brown said. Instead, the two agencies working together will help protect the nation’s cyber networks and increase focus of their respective roles and responsibilities, he added.
Air Force Maj. Gen. David Senty, chief of staff at U.S. Cyber Command, said the military has a legal obligation to safeguard citizens’ privacy and civil liberties.
“We do not see Cyber Command and NSA as a balance between liberty and security. We work to protect both,” Senty told the symposium Thursday, according to The Associated Press.