While most Americans would welcome a local police officer shining a light at a shrub in their yard after seeing something suspicious, almost no one would feel the same way about questionable Internet activity.
The National Security Agency has the most advanced capabilities for cyberattacks and defense in the world, Hayden said.
“It is awesome,” he said. “But nobody there has the authorization to defend you,” because the NSA is generally barred from domestic eavesdropping.
As governments and companies recognize that they have all been hacked and focus more on limiting the damage from breaches, Hayden called for more extensive debate from civilians on how the United States should treat the Internet.
“You and I have not yet given our government guidance about what we want it to do,” he said.