WASHINGTON, Feb. 17 (UPI) -- Former U.S. security officials say the government needs the authority to monitor the Internet and millions of cell phones during a major cyber attack.
The conclusion came at the end of a high-profile "war game" sponsored by the Bipartisan Policy Center that simulated an incident in which a virus cripples not only the Internet but the national telecommunications and power grids.
"Americans need to know that they should not expect to have their cell phone and other communications to be private," said Jamie Gorelick, a former deputy attorney general who took part in the exercise, "not if the government is going to have to take aggressive action to tamp down the threat."
The war game took place at a Washington hotel and featured former administration officials from both parties. The Washington Post said Wednesday the results indicated to the participants that the private sector was not equipped to handle a major situation without decisive government intervention.
The Los Angeles Times said proposals thrown out on the table during the responses included fuel rationing and abducting the hackers who launched the attack. Also discussed was the need for a legal means of monitoring and analyzing Internet and cell phone data traffic.