Saturday, March 9, 2013

DoD Plans to Use Preemptive Deadly Force on Hackers, Cyber Threats

Freda Art
Eric Blair
Activist Post

A new report from the Department of Defense outlines the military's capability to deter cyber threats with some pretty heavy firepower, including nuclear weapons.

The paper written by the Defense Science Board described the best types of bombs to use on hackers to be "Global selective strike systems e.g. penetrating bomber, submarines with long range cruise missiles, Conventional Prompt Global Strike (CPGS), survivable national and combatant command," while "Nuclear weapons would remain the ultimate response and anchor the deterrence ladder" for cyber threats.

"The report ... implies that the United States might have to rely on nuclear weapons to retaliate after a large-scale cyber attack," Foreign Policy writes.

Although it seems that Foreign Policy is reporting shocking revelations, they're actually engaged in subtle misinformation. They claim that this strike capability is only to be used in "retaliation" after a cyber attack as opposed to preemptive strikes to prevent cyber threats, which the military is already authorized to do.

For all the talk of the indefinite detention section of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a little known provision gave President Obama the authority to "conduct offensive operations in cyberspace".

Here's what Section 954 of the 2011 NDAA says:
Congress affirms that the Department of Defense has the capability, and upon direction by the President may conduct offensive operations in cyberspace to defend our Nation, Allies and interests, subject to—
(1) the policy principles and legal regimes that the Department follows for kinetic capabilities, including the law of armed conflict; and
(2) the War Powers Resolution (50 U.S.C. 1541 et seq.).
Prior to this NDAA provision, in July 2011, the Pentagon announced cyberspace to be their "operational domain" and claimed that the U.S. can "under the laws of armed conflict, respond to serious cyber attacks with a proportional and justified military response at the time and place of our choosing," said Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn during the release of The Department of Defense Strategy for Operating in Cyberspace.

This week we heard Rand Paul speak much about the "law of armed conflict" or "Martial Law" in his talking filibuster of John Brennan over drone strikes on American soil, which is a related concern since the NDAA also officially labeled the U.S. as part of the battlefield.

Paul reiterated that if Americans can be treated the same as an enemy under the law of armed conflict, there is no due process protection, as well as more flexible rules of engagement than those that restrict the police. Just ask the Guantanamo prisoners or Bradley Manning how due process works under the laws of war. Or ask the family of the 16-year-old American murdered by a targeted drone strike about the rules of engagement.

Therefore due process will not be needed to take offensive action against cyber threats under the laws of war. In other words, hackers everywhere may be facing a lethal force if they're suspected of engaging in cyber attacks against the U.S. or its allies and interests.

The report, however, urges US military leaders to develop "cyber escalation scenarios and red lines" that could prompt the use of force. Or simply put, when can they pull the trigger on a cyber threat. Of course, just as the legal justification for drone strikes has remained classified, surely, this will as well.

Here is a nifty illustration they provided to help us visualize how the threat levels are designed for hackers:

It's also important to note that the military has been authorized to conduct a cyberwar with "kinetic capabilities", meaning it can operate wherever the threat is in the world.  A borderless war like the war on terror. This eliminates any need for the President to seek an individual declaration of cyber war against China in Congress even though nuclear weapons could potentially be involved.

Does anyone in Congress understand just how dangerous it is to authorize the use of preemptive deadly force against suspected cyber threats without due process?

Read other articles by Eric Blair Here

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Adam Evenson said...

The answer to your question at end of article: evidently not.

Anonymous said...

Let me get this straight.

We all believe that there are lots of little guys out there with no jobs but great computer brains doing all this hacking for no money?

They (the gov't)are at the mercy of these little nobodies? Boo hoo.

Give me a break.

There are no hackers except for the gov't hackers using this as a pretext to spy on us. They tell Dell what to do. These computer companies love the hacking because they make a fortune getting viruses our of our computers.

The computer companies which they own are the hackers.

Oh yeah, they have to fight this by taking our privacy and reading our emails. I want to gag at our ignorance. Really.

Just like there are drug dealers. Not.

The gov't are the drug dealers. Not some little Mexican.

Our troops in Afghanistan are farmers with this heroin. What war?. It's all about the heroin.

Come on guys.

Did you know that we never had any fight with the Russians? These powers are together from the start.

It was all good cop, bad cop so that they could convince us that we needed this military buildup to protect us from these Russians. They are together. Get it? Now we are over with the Russians building more space junk. We have Russian TV here??? What??

North Korea is no threat. Our gov't set them up as a proxy and we control them.

The idea is that we will be distracted from Iran. Keep your eyes on Iran, not North Korea. They are puppets of Israel and the US.

North Korea we own. We set up this guy's father over there and we set his son up. And we control South Korea as well.

There was no Korean war. It was a setup from day one and we are the suckers who believe this baloney as usual.

Love ya and don't believe in our divide and conquer system of Repub/Democrat, capitalism/communist, baloney.

We have to think, think, think.

Anonymous said...

Tell my grandfather there wasn't a Korean War a$$h0!e. While he used to sit there rubbing his hands together trying to get the imaginary blood off his hands from fighting hand to hand. The government does a lot of messed up stuff (wars included) but, there was a war and many people have died from them. Learn a little respect or talk to some veterans and I am sure you won't open your mouth that way again.

Anonymous said...

Sorry man...tell my grandfather there wasn't a Korean war...Boo ooh. Let me share some of my crocodile tears for you and him...A serial killer in war like your grandfather or a Joe back home deserves the same compassion as Mason. None that is!! He joined, got paid and killed just as the Germans did during WWII. At the Nuremberg trial some were found guilty and were executed just for following orders...Guess your Grandpa got lucky by washing his hands clean, no evidences left of his crime. If you know what I mean!

PJ London said...

USA can (Cyber) attack anyone and Nuke anyone who tries to stop them or retaliates.

Sounds reasonable.

Yak Tam Schicklegruber said...

The War is against anyone who says no.
Here is why. let me ask the commenters and Activist Post this question.
What do you think of my idea.
Substituting the word "Government"with Terrorists.
A new meme.Is it illegal? Y'know the Terrorists say if you want to fly they need to XRay you search juniors shorts ect...
The terrorists say you have to turn in all your guns.The terrorists say that all returning Vets are nuts and no guns for them.
The terrorists have a new vaccine for us!
The terrorists are borrowing money in your name.The terrorists no longer allow visits at the Whitehouse.You get the idea...
I wonder how it would go for the terrorists if we didn't refer to them as "the Government"which gives them an air of legitimacy.
Is it illegal to say the terrorists are going to kill anyone who they claim are hacking the terrorists computers?Is it far fetched? From now on just call them what they are! Let them respond from a defensive posture and make them prove they are not the terrorists.Tell them...we think you are the terrorists are you? See what they say.

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