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….

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Comments on “Latest Leak: Obama Wants A List Of Countries To Cyberattack”

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gorehound (profile) says:

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.

horse with no name says:

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)

Anonymous Coward says:

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?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 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….

out_of_the_blue says:

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.

aldestrawk says:

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.”

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