Former CYBERCOM boss Nakasone to lead Vanderbilt defense institute

Former CYBERCOM boss Nakasone to lead Vanderbilt defense institute

The former head of U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency is headed back to school, so to speak.

Vanderbilt University on May 8 named retired Army Gen. Paul Nakasone as the director of its nascent Institute for National Defense and Global Security, describing him as one of the “nation’s founding cyberwarriors.”

Nakasone is expected to join the university June 1, shortly before the institute officially opens its doors. It will be associated with the engineering school but will welcome input from all disciplines, according to an announcement.

The move by Nakasone follows a six-year stint overseeing elite military hackers and global intelligence collection. The retired general was last year a keynote speaker at the Vanderbilt Summit on Modern Conflict and Emerging Threats.

“The security landscape is evolving at an unprecedented pace and in unknown directions,” Nakasone said in a statement. “To meet these challenges, it is imperative that we approach them in a highly interdisciplinary way.”

Before stepping down from CYBERCOM and the NSA, Nakasone warned that Chinese cyberattacks on critical infrastructure in Guam or other Indo-Pacific footholds could cripple U.S. military capabilities in the region. He also advocated for a renewal of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, a contentious foreign spy program.

The measure allows the U.S. government to collect and review communications like emails and text messages of foreigners abroad, including when they are in touch with Americans. Nakasone in December described it as “the most important authority that we utilize day in, day out.”

Colin Demarest is a reporter at C4ISRNET, where he covers military networks, cyber and IT. Colin previously covered the Department of Energy and its National Nuclear Security Administration — namely Cold War cleanup and nuclear weapons development — for a daily newspaper in South Carolina. Colin is also an award-winning photographer.

Read the full article here