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He reeled off the rapidly growing statistics of today’s online culture: 1.9 billion Internet users; 4.6 billion cellular subscribers; an average of 247 billion e-mails sent each day this year; and $300 billion in intellectual property stolen over computer networks this year.

Alexander assumed control of Cyber Command in May. He said the budget for this year is about $120 million, and that probably will grow to about $150 million in 2011.

The money pays for about 1,000 military and civilian workers, including those who staff a 24-hours-a-day operations center that monitors and defends the Defense Department’s computer networks.

With a nod to critics, Alexander pledged that the Cyber Command will comply with all privacy and civil liberties laws.

“We have to get this right, as I believe the security of our nation depends on it,” he said.