White House Declares It Has 'Broad Powers' When It Comes To Cyberattacks

from the well,-of-course dept

In a bit of news that will shock just about no one, the Obama administration did a legal review over what it’s allowed to do in making use of “cyberweapons,” and concluded that it has “broad powers” to do all sorts of stuff. The specifics, of course, will remain classified:

That decision is among several reached in recent months as the administration moves, in the next few weeks, to approve the nation’s first rules for how the military can defend, or retaliate, against a major cyberattack. New policies will also govern how the intelligence agencies can carry out searches of faraway computer networks for signs of potential attacks on the United States and, if the president approves, attack adversaries by injecting them with destructive code – even if there is no declared war.

Comforting, huh? And, by comforting, I mean “terrifying.” While we’ve already talked a few times about the US using “cyber weapons” against Iran (hello Stuxnet, Flame, etc.) this NY Times report suggests that the White House is being freed up to do much more, though one “concession” is that the use of such tools must be approved by the President, rather than allowing various agencies (Defense Department, mainly) to run off and starting attacking others electronically without first getting it approved by the President.

In the meantime, this looks like yet another case of the White House not minding leaks that make it look good. As we’ve noted, whenever there are leaks that embarrass the White House, they come down like a ton of bricks on whoever did the leaking as being guilty of espionage. But when the White House itself leaks information about how awesome and powerful they themselves are, no one ever seems to get arrested.

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Comments on “White House Declares It Has 'Broad Powers' When It Comes To Cyberattacks”

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weneedhelp (profile) says:

Re: Re: FTFY

Thanks for the link, I am only on the second page, but wow.

“Take the Clinton doctrine. The Clinton doctrine was that the United States is entitled to resort to unilateral force to ensure ?uninhibited access to key markets, energy supplies, and strategic resources.? That goes beyond anything that George W. Bush said. But it was quiet and it wasn?t arrogant and abrasive, so it didn?t cause much of an uproar.” – Two sides of the same coin.

Anonymous Coward says:

so, if he feels the need, the president can authorise cyber attacks on whomever. what about those countries that feel the same way? i bet shit will hit fan if there is what is considered a retaliatory attack on the USA. and you can bet your arse that the USA are attacking other countries atm. cant have it one way without having it the other.

weneedhelp (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Nah the US wouldnt attack its own. /s
The FBI wouldnt find would-maybe “terrorists” and blow stuff for them.
They wouldnt want to fill social networks with fake accounts.
They wouldnt make up their own interpretation of laws and refuse to tell anyone.
They wouldnt request the ability to lie to the American public.
They wouldnt want to lie to a court.

They wouldnt burn down their own parliament building and blame it on communists.

Sure they wouldnt.

RyanNerd says:

Re: Acts of war

Yes. That is what the constitution says. It plainly states that it is CONGRESS that declares war. Not the president. But the constitution has been used as toilet paper by the current and former administrations.

There are actualy some idiots out there that want to instigate a manditory draft. This is without congress declaring war, and there by without a delcaration of war we end up with a financial and moral mess like: Vietnam, Korea, Iraq,… should I continue?

Sometimes I wake up in the morning read the news and wonder what country I live in.

Anonymous Coward says:

What really gets me annoyed with Obama is the fact that he believes that he can do it right when him himself don’t believe anybody could or should and in the case these powers goes to others he plans to make sure nobody can do what he did.

No this is not an assumption he said it us much in an interview just last year to anybody who wanted to hear it, and I believe he was talking about then about assassinations, enhanced interrogation and other stuff, he said he needed those things but would not trust other administrations to have the same power, or some equality crappy BS.

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