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U.S., Russia close to agreement on preventing cyber conflict: report


08:17, April 28, 2012

WASHINGTON, April 27 (Xinhua) -- The United States and Russia are finalizing an agreement to use their secure nuclear communication system to prevent possible misperceptions in cyberspace from escalating to full hostilities, a newspaper report disclosed on Friday.

The Nuclear Risk Reduction Center, established in 1988 under President Ronald Reagan so that Washington and Moscow could alert each other to missile tests and space launches that could be mistaken as acts of aggression, would take a central role in the agreement nearing completion between the two sides, The Washington Post said in a frontpage story.

Under the agreement, in case of a cyber incident, the channel of communication could be activated if either side detects what appears to be hostile activity from the other's territory, officials were quoted as saying.

The secure channel would be a milestone in the efforts to ensure that misperceptions in cyberspace do not escalate to full hostilities, the report quoted U.S. officials and experts from both countries as saying.

The U.S.-Russian talks reflect the increasing importance of cyber activities as points of potential conflict between nations, as the Obama administration is increasingly worried about a cyber attack that could disrupt computer systems providing water, power or other critical services to Americans, the report said.

This agreement, the first between the United States and another country seeking to lessen the danger of conflict in cyberspace, would be an initial step toward making cyberspace more stable, the report added.

The agreement is a result of the high-level cyber security talks held by the United States and Russia in Moscow in February 2011 and a follow-up last June in Washington to establish confidence-building measures to prevent cyber conflict.


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