The US Department of Defense (DoD) is opening a cyber security base of operations in Silicon Valley in a bid to increase collaboration between the public and private sectors.
Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson announced the move at the RSA conference in San Francisco.
"Today I am pleased to announce that the Department of Homeland Security is also finalising plans to open up a satellite office in Silicon Valley, to serve as another point of contact with our friends here," he said.
"We want to strengthen critical relationships in Silicon Valley and ensure that the government and the private sector benefit from each other's research and development."
Johnson described the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center's (NCCIC's) new Silicon Valley office as a key step in the DoD's bid to share threat intelligence with businesses.
"We are enabling the NCCIC to provide near real-time automated information sharing to the private sector. I have directed our team to go full throttle on this. As you know, cyber security is about speed," he said.
"Today we are sharing indicators with an initial set of companies and are in the process of adding others. Later this year, we will be in a position to begin to accept cyber threat indicators from the private sector in automated near real-time format."
The move is similar the the UK Cyber Security Information Sharing Partnership (CISP).
CISP is an initiative launched in 2013 that is run by the UK Computer Emergency Response Team and is designed to help government and private-sector companies share information about cyber threats.
Johnson said the DoD's efforts to increase collaboration have already yielded positive results.
"In fiscal year 2014 alone, the NCCIC received over 97,000 cyber incident reports from the private and government sectors, and issued nearly 12,000 cyber alerts or warnings," he said.
"Last year, across dozens and dozens of departments and agencies of the US government, we identified 265 instances of the Heartbleed vulnerability, and in a three-week period reduced them to two."
Heartbleed is a flaw in the OpenSSL implementation of the Transport Layer Security protocol used by open source web servers such as Apache and Nginx, which host around 66 percent of all sites.
The Secretary of Homeland Security's comments follow widespread suspicions about the US government's mass surveillance practices.
The concerns erupted after whistleblower Edward Snowden leaked documents to the press proving departments, including the US National Security Agency (NSA), are siphoning vast amounts of data from technology companies including Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Yahoo and Apple.
More recently, concerns have grown about the NSA's attempts to crack encryption protocols, which are currently viewed as a key way companies and general web users can protect their privacy.
Johnson moved to allay these fears, promising the DoD is aware of the need for privacy, but he added that data encryption is hampering law enforcement's ability to track criminals and terrorists.
"Let me be clear: I understand the importance of what encryption brings to privacy. But, imagine the problems if, well after the advent of the telephone, the warrant authority of the government to investigate crime had extended only to the US mail," he said.
"Our inability to access encrypted information poses public safety challenges. In fact, encryption is making it harder for your government to find criminal activity, and potential terrorist activity."
Johnson is one of many officials currently bemoaning the rise in use of encrypted services since PRISM.
Troels Oerting, assistant director at Europol, argued in October that the rise of encryption and anonymity is making cyber crime investigations more challenging.
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