America to engage with Russia over cyber warfare

The Head of the US cyber Army has decided to enter talks with Russia over a proposal to limit military attacks in cyberspace

The US has been giving Russian proposals the cold shoulder up until now, while Russia has been lobbying the UN to draw up some kind of cyber treaty.

But in about-face General Keith Alexander told think tank the Center for Strategic and International Studies said that the Russian proposal was "perhaps the starting point for international debate".

"It's something that we should, and probably will, carefully consider." he said, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The move is a consequence of the Obama administration's willingness to talk with erstwhile rivals, as opposed to previous administrations, which have preferred to shoot first and talk later, if there's anyone left to talk with.

The Journal said the US has been courting low-level Russian officials recently, but the General's comments are the first from an American official which may indicate a new openness to cyber negotiations.

"We do have to establish the lanes of the road," the Journal said he said.

The new US Cyber Command unit has put the willies up observers both at home and abroad and Alexander tried to allay fears on both fronts. He serves as a director of the National Security Agency, but said that Agency was committed to protecting Americans' privacy.

Unless, perhaps, their beards are too long.

"The real key to the issue is: How do we build the confidence that we're doing it right with the American people, Congress and everyone else?" he said. "That's going to be the hard part."