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UK minister: Cyberattack could prompt NATO action

LONDON (AP) – Britain’s armed forces minister says that a cyberattack aimed at a NATO member could mobilize the alliance to act against an aggressor.

Nick Harvey told U.K. lawmakers Wednesday that NATO’s Article 5 could be invoked in the case of a cyberattack “the same way it might be invoked for a conventional attack.”

Article 5 provides for the collective defense of NATO members and states that an attack on one member is an attack on every member. It has only been invoked once _ in the case of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror strikes in the United States.

Lawmaker James Arbuthnot asked Harvey whether he believed NATO could have intervened in the 2007 cyberattacks against Estonia, an electronic onslaught which the tiny Baltic nation blamed on Russia.

Harvey said, “Potentially, yes.”

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