Ex-US spy chief: May take crisis for new cyber law

January 24, 2012 08:19

WASHINGTON - US intelligence agencies have unique capabilities that can help protect American companies from cyber espionage and attack, but it will probably take a crisis to change laws to allow that type of cooperation, a former spy chief said on Monday.

Intelligence agencies like the National Security Agency are authorized to operate abroad but generally are restricted from working within the United States,

"Until we have a banking collapse or electric power goes off in the middle of a snowstorm for eight weeks, or something of that magnitude, we're likely just to talk about it and not do much," Mike McConnell, former director of national intelligence, said.

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