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International Cyber Partnerships: The Defense Department is looking to expand its cyber security-related partnerships beyond traditional NATO allies. Specifically, talks are under way with the Japanese, South Korean, and New Zealand defense ministries, said Pentagon officials. At the same time, the United States continues to work closely with Australia and Britain on "a whole spectrum of cyber interoperability," they said. Advancing threats in the cyber realm give the desire for cooperation a sense of urgency. "From our perspective, what we're looking at is a global cyber arms race [that] is not proceeding in a leisurely or even linear fashion but is, in fact, accelerating," said Army Gen. Keith Alexander, commander of US Cyber Command, Tuesday at a cyber symposium in Washington, D.C. One of the biggest challenges to building international cyber partnerships will be the "high-level classification" and "very strict rules" on sharing information with foreign governments beyond longstanding partners, said Rear Adm. Samuel Cox, CYBERCOM's director of intelligence, at the same event. (AFPS report by Cheryl Pellerin)