Latest Leak: Obama Wants A List Of Countries To Cyberattack

from the but-of-course dept

Another day, another leak -- and once again, it's not much of a surprise, but rather a confirmation of what's long been suspected. This time, it's that President Obama has ordered the US to draw up a list of "targets" for proactive cyberattacks, as revealed (yet again) by Glenn Greenwald at the Guardian. This is a point we'd raised months ago. For all the talk of "cybersecurity" fears, it's the US that's been the biggest proponent of proactive cyberattacks.
The 18-page Presidential Policy Directive 20, issued in October last year but never published, states that what it calls Offensive Cyber Effects Operations (OCEO) "can offer unique and unconventional capabilities to advance US national objectives around the world with little or no warning to the adversary or target and with potential effects ranging from subtle to severely damaging".

It says the government will "identify potential targets of national importance where OCEO can offer a favorable balance of effectiveness and risk as compared with other instruments of national power".

The directive also contemplates the possible use of cyber actions inside the US, though it specifies that no such domestic operations can be conducted without the prior order of the president, except in cases of emergency.
Again, this shouldn't be a surprise if you're paying attention. Back in February, we noted that the White House had done an internal "legal review" and decided for itself that it had broad powers when it came to cyberattacks.

I'm guessing we're still going to be seeing a lot more big leaks in the near future....


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2013 @ 2:38pm

    Fiction

    Will someone please remind your resident and government that Tom Clancy wrote fiction, not a blue print for advancing American interests.

     

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  2.  
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    Androgynous Cowherd, Jun 7th, 2013 @ 2:42pm

    I'm guessing...

    I'm guessing we're still going to be seeing a lot more big leaks in the near future....


    I'm guessing that the Obama administration is about to start living up to its initial hype as the most transparent in U.S. history ... whether it wants to or not.

     

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  3.  
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    apauld (profile), Jun 7th, 2013 @ 2:49pm

    Tomainia.

    The government should get after those bastards quick.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    gorehound (profile), Jun 7th, 2013 @ 2:53pm

    Re: I'm guessing...

    Here's Hoping it happens ! At this point now that the Cat is coming out of the Bag I would like to see the same thing happen to the other side.Now we on Techdirt have long known about this Issue of Tech and Spying, ETC but now the story is all over the World in regular mainstream News.I know I warned people for years now and I bet others here on Techdirt tried to do the same.
    Now, I do feel that the Tables should be turned and if I do see the US Gov hacked and cracked it will be Justice and we will see how they spied on us and how they spied on us, ETC.
    I do love our Nation but I also love our Constitution and our supposed Freedom.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2013 @ 2:54pm

    so, this is different to the 'alleged attacks by the Chinese' exactly how? this is going to improve relations with anywhere exactly how? this gives other countries the excuse to do the same to the US, so it stops complaints exactly how? all this is gonna do, surely, is give other countries even more reasons to treat the US with contempt especially since this has been going on, unadmitted, for years and either increase or start cyber attacks!!when is it all gonna end? when those that keep condemning the behaviour of others, wipe them all out or when everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet? all countries seem to be involved in this stuff but the USA seems to be the worse. it also seems as if it wants the ability to do what it wants to whoever but whoever mustn't do it back. who the hell is gonna put up with that?

     

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  6. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Jun 7th, 2013 @ 2:59pm

    Twice in one piece you warn against surprise.

    "once again, it's not much of a surprise" ... "Again, this shouldn't be a surprise"

    OKAY, already! I'm NOT surprised.

    I have more than 50 taglines to select from, and you're wearing this one out:
    Techdirt's official motto: This isn't surprising.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    sehlat (profile), Jun 7th, 2013 @ 3:10pm

    Re: Twice in one piece you warn against surprise.

    You're complaining? I'm surprised.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2013 @ 3:15pm

    Re: Re: Twice in one piece you warn against surprise.

    I'm not.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2013 @ 3:18pm

    That's it. The US government has officially jumped the shark.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    StayedAtHolidayInnLastNight (profile), Jun 7th, 2013 @ 3:39pm

    The Independent Republics?

    I wonder if this list includes the Independent Republics of California and Texas?

     

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  11.  
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    aldestrawk (profile), Jun 7th, 2013 @ 3:58pm

    further revelations to come

    Glenn Greenwald, working for the Guardian, who along with reporters at the Washington post have apparently gotten a series of leaked documents from a source connected to the NSA, writes today :

    "I don't have time at the moment to address all of the fallout because - to borrow someone else's phrase - I'm Looking Forward to future revelations that are coming (and coming shortly), not Looking Backward to ones that have already come."

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jun/07/whistleblowers-and-leak-investigations

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Jun 7th, 2013 @ 4:18pm

    Re: Re: Twice in one piece you warn against surprise.

    It surprises me that people respond to _blue with sarcasm.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2013 @ 4:40pm

    Re:

    Actually, I would say it's even worse then that. Remember, the Government hired, or at least strongly coerced, Hector Xavier Monsegur from Anonymous to attack private corporations after he was caught. In the name of finding other members of the organization, they simply let a few die off in attacks probably even foreign and domestic companies that they felt were worth the risk. Welcome to America: do as we say, not as we do....

     

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  14.  
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    McCrea (profile), Jun 7th, 2013 @ 5:26pm

    IIRC. Was a couple years ago that the U.S. stated that cyber attacks will be considered acts of war. Looky us, engaging in proactive war.

     

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  15. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    horse with no name, Jun 7th, 2013 @ 5:33pm

    Re: I'm guessing...

    I'm guessing we're still going to be seeing a lot more big leaks in the near future

    I am guessing that most of what you see will either be carefully edited or created from whole cloth by people trying to discredit the president. Those who oppose him will jump all over anything like this and use it against him to bring pressure.

    You know, blog writers who suddenly are all over a story with their political pals like Wyden (wink wink)

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2013 @ 6:01pm

    Defense = Offense

    We already know the department of defense has nothing to do with defense and everything to do with offense. The Orwellian doublespeak is the norm for them.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2013 @ 7:24pm

    Glenn Greenwald

    I have a bad feeling about this gentleman's future.

    What are the US gobmint's possible responses? Do any of them reek of the ideals the US was founded upon?

     

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  18.  
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    bshock, Jun 7th, 2013 @ 8:03pm

    obligatory star wars references

    President Obama, the more you tighten your grip, the more whistleblowers will slip through your fingers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2013 @ 9:24pm

    Re: Fiction

    Maybe Obama is actually Tom Clancy in disguise, if that is the case he'll have my respect once again.

     

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  20.  
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    Pixelation, Jun 7th, 2013 @ 10:53pm

    Cyberattack!

    What a great name for a Hollywood movie...

     

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  21.  
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    Jesse (profile), Jun 8th, 2013 @ 12:10am

    Re: Fiction

    "We need more cybersecurity laws, because after we're done pissing off the world everyone is going to be gunning for us!"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Jun 9th, 2013 @ 9:32am

    Re: Re: Fiction

    The sad thing is, as excuses go that would actually make more sense than the 'terrorists-hacker-communists are going to make planes fall out of the sky!' crap they currently use to try and justify those laws.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 9th, 2013 @ 10:10am

    Re: Fiction

    I've just realized I took the P out of 'your president'.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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