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US May Use Preemptive Cyber Strikes--Report


Science & Tech  (tags: cover-up, ethics, usa, politics, world, technology, NewTechnology, society, internet, discovery )

JL
- 615 days ago - technology.inquirer.net
A secret legal review has concluded that the US president has the power to order preemptive cyber strikes if the United States discovers credible evidence of a major digital attack against it is in the offing



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JL A. (275)
Wednesday February 13, 2013, 10:33 am
US may use preemptive cyber strikes—report

Agence France-Presse
5:38 pm | Monday, February 4th, 2013

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta AP

WASHINGTON—A secret legal review has concluded that the US president has the power to order preemptive cyber strikes if the United States discovers credible evidence of a major digital attack against it is in the offing, The New York Times reported Monday.

Citing unnamed officials involved in the review, the newspaper said the new policy will also govern how the intelligence agencies can carry out searches of overseas computer networks for signs of potential attacks on the United States and, if the president approves, attack adversaries with a destructive code — even if there is no declared war.

The review came as the US Department of Defense approved a five-fold expansion of its cybersecurity force over the coming years in a bid to increase its ability to defend critical computer networks.

The Washington Post reported that the department’s Cyber Command, which currently has a staff of about 900, will expand to about 4,900 troops and civilians.

Last November, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta conceded that US cybersecurity needed more financial support and human capital.

The seriousness of the threat has been underscored by a string of sabotage attacks, including one in which a virus was used to wipe data from more than 30,000 computers at a Saudi Arabian state oil company last summer.

According to The Times, John Brennan, who has been nominated to run the Central Intelligence Agency, played a central role in developing the administration’s policies regarding cyberwarfare.

Obama is known to have approved the use of cyberweapons only once, when he ordered an escalating series of cyberattacks against Iran’s nuclear enrichment facilities, The Times said.

The operation was code-named Olympic Games, and began inside the Pentagon when George W. Bush was still president, according to the paper.

The attacks on Iran illustrated that a nation’s infrastructure can be destroyed without bombing it or sending in saboteurs, the report said.

One senior American official said that the reviewers had quickly determined that the cyberweapons were so powerful that — like nuclear weapons — they should be unleashed only on the direct orders of the commander in chief, The Times noted.

International law allows any nation to defend itself from threats, and the United States has applied that concept to conduct preemptive attacks, the paper noted.

Under the new guidelines, the Pentagon would not be involved in defending against ordinary cyberattacks on American companies or individuals, The Times said. That responsibility falls to the Department of Homeland Security.

But the military would become involved in cases of a major cyberattack within the United States, the paper noted.
 

Roger Garin-michaud (68)
Wednesday February 13, 2013, 12:41 pm
noted, thanks !
 

JL A. (275)
Wednesday February 13, 2013, 2:41 pm
You are welcome Roger!
 

John B. (175)
Wednesday February 13, 2013, 6:24 pm
Thanks J.L. for the very interesting post. I do hope the White House keeps the appropriate members of congress in the loop regarding this. Read and noted.
 

JL A. (275)
Wednesday February 13, 2013, 6:40 pm
You are welcome John. I share your hopes. You cannot currently send a star to John because you have done so within the last week.
 

Stephen Brian (23)
Wednesday February 13, 2013, 11:37 pm
Thanks!

I'm glad to see that the U.S. is finally starting to take this stuff seriously. Maybe soon it will start getting proper infrastructure-protection, like having smartgrids run on a parallel network so that nobody can destroy the electric grid via the internet, store confidential information on computers without wireless capability which only get connected to the internet for a brief period each day for updates and to handle queued requests for information, and take other prudent action.
 

John Gregoire (257)
Thursday February 14, 2013, 6:23 am
Go for it. The US is the target of hundreds of thosuands of cyber attacks a day! We must fight back and strongly. Let's hope we are able.
 

Michael Kirkby (85)
Thursday February 14, 2013, 6:33 am
It's about time but I do have some reservations. NSA has the best crackers in the world. It has only been the constraint of the US protocols that have kept them in check.
 

JL A. (275)
Thursday February 14, 2013, 7:49 am
You cannot currently send a star to Stephen because you have done so within the last week.
You cannot currently send a star to Michael because you have done so within the last week.
 

Past Member (0)
Thursday February 14, 2013, 12:28 pm
This is rife for abuse!
 

Deborah W. (6)
Thursday February 14, 2013, 3:19 pm
And when the tables are reversed and we are "perceived"? What's good for one is good for the other -- equality for all, remember?

just what we need, another Government business addition of 4,000. When did we become our own worst enemy?
 

Ray Lovelace (1)
Thursday February 14, 2013, 3:36 pm
I thought we'd been doing it against Iran for years. Among other things, no doubt.
 

JL A. (275)
Thursday February 14, 2013, 5:17 pm
Good question Deborah.
You cannot currently send a star to Deborah because you have done so within the last week.
 

Birgit W. (147)
Thursday February 14, 2013, 5:39 pm
Thanks
 

JL A. (275)
Thursday February 14, 2013, 9:35 pm
You are welcome Birgit
 

Stephen Brian (23)
Friday February 15, 2013, 11:57 pm
Hi Deborah :)

I don't think peffects on erceptions of the U.S. are as big a deal as they may seem. Its enemies mostly perceive the U.S. as a fundamentally evil society, and nothing the U.S. government can do, or refrain from doing, will change that. Its true allies won't turn against it over anything like this, mostly because it won't attack them. Its clients back it for the protection and support that it offers and don't really care about its moral character, so an increase in strength on the international stage will strengthen their loyalty. I hope that helps.
 

JL A. (275)
Saturday February 16, 2013, 6:39 am
You cannot currently send a star to Stephen because you have done so within the last week.
 
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