The US Department of Homeland Security is to work with a commercial ISP to test a US government intrusion detection system.
The Einstein 3 system is part of US initiatives to improve the cyber defences of federal agencies.
The Department of Homeland Security has detailed its plans for the testing of the partially classified Einstein 3 system in a privacy impact statement.
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"The goal of the exercise is to pilot Einstein 3 capabilities based on technology developed by the National Security Agency," the statement said.
The exercise will demonstrate the ability of an existing ISP to select and redirect internet traffic from a single government agency through Einstein 3.
This will allow the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT) to apply intrusion detection and prevention measures to that traffic and generate automated alerts about selected cyber threats.
Einstein 3 is designed to do real-time, deep packet inspection and threat-based decision making on data traffic entering or leaving federal agency networks.
The exercise is also aimed at refining processes for managing and protecting information gleaned from observations of cyber intrusions.
Once the exercise is completed, the Department of Homeland Security will determine which technologies and methodologies to use in implementing Einstein 3.
The Einstein project is controversial because of concerns about how the government uses the data it collects.
But US secretary of homeland security Janet Napolitano has strongly defended the programme in the face of criticism from civil rights groups.
"We take very seriously the protection of rights and civil liberties," she told the 2010 RSA Conference in San Francisco in the first week of March.